Crunch time for Durban climate talks

first_img5 December 2011As heads of state and government ministers start arriving in Durban for the UN climate talks, negotiators are hoping that, come end of the week, some kind of political compromise will have been reached to break the stalemate on a range of issues.The 17th Conference of the Parties (COP 17) to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), currently taking place in Durban, is also the 7th meeting of parties to the Kyoto Protocol, which is due to expire at the end of 2012, unless renewed.While UNFCCC executive secretary Christiana Figueres insisted at the weekend that progress had been made on many issues including adaptation, mitigation and finance, observers say serious political will is going to be needed to convince all developed countries to a second commitment of the contentious Kyoto Protocol.High-level talks start TuesdayThe high-level segment of the conference, which starts on Tuesday, will also have to thrash out details of the Green Climate Fund, and the fast-start climate financing for poorer countries of US$30-billion for the period 2010-12 must also be finalized.About 12 heads of state, including South African President Jacob Zuma, and more than 190 government ministers are expected to join the session, which is expected to go on into the late hours of Tuesday night.South Africa will be using its allocated slot to call on the developed world to help the continent scale up its renewable energy option in its energy mix.China ‘would accept legally binding deal from 2020’Meanwhile, China, the world’s biggest carbon emitter, has joined some European countries in saying it would accept a legally binding climate deal in Durban that would come into force after 2020, but has placed conditions on this.These included a renewal of carbon-cutting pledges by rich nations under the Kyoto Protocol, along with finance guarantees for poorer countries.The EU supports a roadmap linked to the Kyoto Protocol, while Russia has proposed amendments to the convention to allow for a periodic revision of countries that are under certain obligations to cut emissions.Currently, developing nations have fewer obligations to reduce their greenhouse gas emissions compared with major economies.Source: BuaNewslast_img read more

SA set for R47bn in energy investments

first_img30 October 2012 South Africa’s Energy Department says it is expecting R47-billion to be invested in the country through the first window of its renewable energy programme for independent power producers. The department received bids for the first window, which seeks 1 400 megawatts of renewable energy, in November 2011 and announced the first 28 preferred bidders in December. The outline for the first 28 preferred bidders is now in place and the department says it is ready to sign contracts, unlocking the investments. Briefing reporters in Pretoria on Monday, Energy Minister Dipuo Peters said the department had been working closely with the preferred bidders to conclude the contract documentation, including the power purchase and implementation agreements. “The delay for financial close was largely related to government approvals. We apologise for shifting the timeframes,” Peters said, adding that the delays in government approvals had caused by the need to have fully populated contracts to be presented to the relevant structures within the government for approval.Job opportunities in rural areas “I’m pleased to announce that the country will receive about R47-billion of investment in renewable power generation through window 1 preferred bidders,” Peters said. The investment will provide job opportunities, especially for those in rural areas where renewable power plants are located. According to the government’s Integrated Resource Plan, a 20-year projection on electricity supply and demand, about 42% of electricity generated in South Africa will be required to come from renewable resources. The plan places specific emphasis on broadening electricity supply technologies to include gas, imports, nuclear, biomass, and renewables (wind, solar and hydro) both to meet the country’s future electricity needs and to reduce its carbon emissions. Originally, 53 bids amounting to 2 128 MW were received across wind, photovoltaic (PV) solar systems, concentrated solar power (CSP) and small hydro. The evaluation resulted in 28 bids, with a total of 1 416 MW being selected as preferred bidders in the first window. The wind and solar PV projects are expected to be integrated into the country’s national energy grid during 2014. “The signing of agreements for window 1 preferred bidders will take place on 5 November,” Peters said, adding that bidders were expected to honour the commitments made in their bids. Should bidders fail to comply with their commitments, penalties such as the termination of the power purchase agreement would be implemented. Peters said she had received concurrence from the National Energy Regulator of SA for additional allocations to the renewable programme, base load generation and the medium-term risk mitigation plan generation. Earlier this month, Peters said she was considering a second determination that would provide additional megawatts in the renewable energy space. “I will be promulgating these determinations before the end of the year,” she said. Source: SANews.gov.zalast_img read more

Call to ‘work for country Hani died for’

first_img10 April 2013South Africans owe it late SA Communist Party leader Chris Hani to work together on building the kind of country for which he fought and died, President Jacob Zuma said on Wednesday.Zuma was speaking at a ceremony at Thomas Titus Nkobi Memorial Park in Elspark, east of Johannesburg to mark the 20th anniversary of Hani’s assassination.‘Selfless, fearless leader’Addressing a gathering that included members of the Hani family and leaders of the African National Congress (ANC), the SA Communist Party and trade union federation Cosatu, Zuma said that South Africa’s debt to Hani could only be repaid by an unwavering commitment to freedom and prosperity for all South Africans.Hani had proved on many occasions that he was a courageous and fearless leader, Zuma said. He never used his position for selfish gains, but “took his responsibilities very seriously in all structures”.Zuma said South Africans inside and outside the government needed to work towards ensuring that the ideals of economic and social freedom Hani fought for were realised.SA Communist Party General Secretary Blade Nzimande described Hani as not the kind of leader “who was hungry for wealth and positions … He was not about the arrogant display of wealth and ‘bling’, but a true revolutionary committed to the cause of liberating the people of South Africa”.Daughter’s tributeComrades, family and friends all described Hani as a “selfless revolutionary” who died for his political beliefs. But he was also a devoted family man who struggled to balance his political and family life.Hani’s daughter Lindiwe recalled a time “when we as his children were complaining that we did not see much of him. He convened a family meeting and he made us understand that he will never be happy doing anything else other than fighting for the liberation of his people.“I miss my father every day, just as the nation misses Chris Hani … We miss his courage and amazing leadership … As long as we hold on to his memory, he will always be with us.”10 April 1993On 10 April 1993, Hani was shot and killed in the driveway of his home in Boksburg, east of Johannesburg, by Januzs Walus, an anti-Communist Polish refugee who had close links to the white nationalist Afrikaner Weerstandsbeweging (AWB).Walus and Clive Derby-Lewis, at the time a Conservative Party member of Parliament, were sentenced to death for Hani’s murder, but ironically were saved from the gallows by South Africa’s new Constitution, which rules out the death penalty. They are both serving life sentences in Pretoria.Hani’s death came at a critical time for South Africa, with negotiators still busy hammering out the agreements that would enable the country to hold its first democratic elections a year later.It was Nelson Mandela, president of the African National Congress (ANC), who stepped up to prevent the widespread anger at Hani’s murder from spilling over into bloodshed.Appearing on state television, Mandela said: “To the youth of South Africa, we have a special message: You have lost a great hero. You have repeatedly shown that your love of freedom is greater than that most precious gift, life itself. But you are the leaders of tomorrow. Your country, your people, your organisation need you to act with wisdom. A particular responsibility rests on your shoulders.”An art and photo exhibition celebrating Hani’s life and work opened at the OR Tambo Cultural Precinct in Wattville, Benoni on Wednesday. The exhibition, open to the public free of charge until 10 May, aims to educate people about the role Hani played in making South Africa the democratic country it is today.SAinfo reporter and SAnews.gov.zalast_img read more

June planted corn in need of some attention

first_imgShare Facebook Twitter Google + LinkedIn Pinterest For Account Manager Andy Lang’s territory of north central and northwest Ohio, corn planting dates ranged from April to June. In fact, almost 30% of the corn crop was planted in June. For this week’s DuPont Pioneer Field Report, Lang talks about what he is talking with growers about as they talk a look at those later planted fields that are nearing the critical pollination stage. The Ohio Ag Net’s Ty Higgins has more.last_img