Minister: Developing countries frustrated

2012-07-05 16:23

Pretoria - Developing countries are frustrated by having to limit industrial expansion to avoid pollution, International Relations Minister Maite Nkoana-Mashabane said on Thursday.

"There is a fundamental unfairness to the climate change problem," she said.

She was speaking in Pretoria at the announcement of the public enterprises department's climate change policy framework for state-owned companies, and the signing of the United Nations Global Compact (UNGC).

"Countries with high standards of living are mostly responsible for the rise in greenhouse gases, and especially the early industrialised nations from Europe, North America and Japan."

Nkoana-Mashabane said these countries created their wealth on the back of vast amounts of greenhouse gases being released unchecked, long before the likely consequences were understood.

"Developing countries fear that they will have to curtail their own fledgling industrial activities, because there would be no choice."

She said the developing world was frustrated because its growth was being hampered by "those who have a historical responsibility for polluting" the universe.

The minister said climate change was "very central" on the global agenda, as it contributed immensely to poverty.

"We have the enemy called climate change and the historic enemy of how development patterns have been taking place in our country," Nkoana-Mashabane said.

"For us to combat and fight poverty, whatever effort we come up with, it gets negated by the negative effects of climate change."

Senior officials from Eskom, SA Airways, Transnet, SA Express, arms manufacturer Denel, diamond miner Alexkor, telecommunications company Broadband Infraco, and the SA Forestry Company signed the UNGC.

Public Enterprises Minister Malusi Gigaba said the policy framework was meant to get the companies to reduce their carbon emissions.

South Africa's industrial economy was energy-intensive and coal-dependent, and the country was ranked one of the 30 largest emitters of greenhouse gases in the world.

The UNGC is a voluntary corporate citizen initiative, involving, among others, thousands of businesses from every continent. Businesses bound by the UNGC file annual progress reports to the global institute.

  • ernst.j.joubert - 2012-07-05 16:55

    No. Metaphorically speaking, the atmosphere is a cake and if you come to the party late you cannot expect that there will be significant portions left. They cannot demand the same levels of pollution as countries that have developed over centuries. Developing countries must do their their part and if they dont like it they should have developed ages ago.

      andrew.hendrikse - 2012-07-05 17:40

      @ ernst.j.joubert, the minister has a good point. Your cake metaphor is a poor one. The correct metaphor is something like this: "Now that my braai is coals and the boerevors is cooking nicely, let's ban making fires!"...Simply unfair...why should I not eat a lekker piece of boerie!!

      jacques.otto.50 - 2012-07-05 17:55

      You are missing the point. How can the Minister talk about unfairness of industrial expansion, when no expansion in SA has taken place over 17 years. If our econamy was booming and the carbon taxes etc starts effecting growth then her comments becomes plausable. This is not about the past but the future. Saying this how do we expect an ANC minister to think about the future with out blaming the past. Our indutrial expansion is no where. If her blame game held any water we would have reduced unemployment by half already.

      claudia.meads - 2012-07-05 19:06

      @andrew - you are clueless as the clueless minister is clueless. Evolution is one of the strongest forces of nature - the ANC is simply a political party against the forces of nature - the primary reason why it WILL fail. The clueless minister's argument is a bit like telling Usain Bolt he has to wear a 100kg lead weight, to make it fair towards runners who are running barefoot and in skins and only eat wild plant roots, just because his forefathers ate meat without any there being any formal regulations. The most entertaining aspect about the clueless minister's clueless comment though, is the fact that the minister is simply admitting Africa (and SA in particular) is at least a thousand years behind in evolution. As such, she gives full credence to a system like Apartheid - SCARY..!

      andrew.hendrikse - 2012-07-05 19:41

      @jacques.otto.50 and are both very narrow-minded!! I'm no supporter of the ANC or it's policies...However south Africa is one of many developing countries being forced to adhere to the same rules as developed countries as far as emissions.Now, I'm all for reducing the effects of greenhouse gasses. But allow those that caused the damage pay for the repair!!Dont give me "evolution" is like telling your child to born an adult!! Here is a list of a few of the developing counties/economies (80 percent of the planet) that you are insulting: Brazil, China, India, Malaysia, Mexico, Philippines, South Africa, Thailand, Poland,Turkey, Argentina, Peru, Hungary, Russia .

      victor.tamaranui - 2012-07-05 20:13

      @ Jacq, No expansion in RSA Industry. Dust off those shades and have a good look at the facts...NOT your Detractor tripe, yous live on.

  • susan.greyling - 2012-07-05 17:00

    Well, then have fun when most of Africa is starving as a result of drought!

      victor.tamaranui - 2012-07-05 20:11

      We will starve as long as we are free...

  • Tommo - 2012-07-05 17:00

    I totally agree with the minister. What a bloody cheek. First the united states totally bugger up our environment and make themselves rich in the process. Then they ask us please not to do the same!!!

  • susan.greyling - 2012-07-05 17:01

      rob.bayliss.94 - 2012-07-05 17:07

      Thanks Susan: It makes for more balance if we are better informed. Still, it would be better for everyone just to get on with lower polution rather than pointing blame at each other and scurrying around looking for excuses!

      susan.greyling - 2012-07-05 17:19

      Then the developing countries need to start doing something about their shocking population growth.

      victor.tamaranui - 2012-07-05 20:09

      yous are really Indoctrinated. wake up and smell the roses. Do some real research and find out which Countries are teh biggest Polluters. Here's a start, The US is NO.1 on that list. Wake up.

  • christelle.james.7 - 2012-07-05 17:04

    To an extend I agree with what the minister is saying. However, we have a responsibility and we need to find alternatives...... (unfortunately the developed countries were not aware of the greenhouse effect up until recent decades, so we cannot really point fingers at them now)

  • siphiwo.maurice - 2012-07-05 17:18

    I concur with the Minister. There should be some means / protocols to ensure, there is enough space for the emerging economies, especially Africa. African leaders, need to come out in support of the Minister's call as by no doubt, Africa will dominate the economies by far in the near future.The warning is: Should Africa ignore this attempt by the west, in particular, less ground for expansion will be available thus resulting in African economies re-routed again to the already developed economies.

      susan.greyling - 2012-07-05 17:30

      I can assure you that if climate change is not stopped, there will be nothing left in Africa in the near future.

      victor.tamaranui - 2012-07-05 20:08

      Susan the Oracle............yeah right .

  • Gregory Jurgens - 2012-07-05 17:26

    I work for a massive company, the odd thing is we are reverting back to coal boilers from electric. Due to electricity costs and reliability of supply. It seems a step backwards.

      victor.tamaranui - 2012-07-05 20:07

      Greg , seems your employer is in step with you, BACKWARDS.

  • arthur.hugh - 2012-07-05 17:27

    No good having a fantastic thriving industry if we all have to walk around with gamma proof raincoats and oxygen masks.

      john.mcguinness.9465 - 2012-07-05 18:22

      Great if you make the gamma proof raincoats and oxygen masks

  • phae.rayden - 2012-07-05 18:04

    Do you understand what's going on? This kind of statement and its pro comments are a tell tale sign of total ignorance or worse, total disregard for the consequences. Stop whining, these are the facts and bleating 'its not fair' is a retarded response to a devastating problem. Most importantly its time for POPULATION CONTROL across the entire planet!

  • Johan De Beer - 2012-07-05 18:50

    Wahaha! "polluting the universe" hahaha!

  • Johan De Beer - 2012-07-05 19:01

    What is the prime cause of pollution? PEOPLE So, the solution is simple: less people! Stop breeding! Then the poor would have less mouths to feed, the rich would drive less cars, we would globally use less energy and water. There would be less littering, less land fill sites, less river pollution, reduced air pollution, etc. etc. There you go! Tax people with more than 2 children - do not reward them with grants!

  • victor.tamaranui - 2012-07-05 20:04

    Too right Minister Too right mate.

  • Fhedzani Sadiki - 2012-07-06 08:00

    I think it is genuinely hard to prioritise climate change when you're hungry. Another thing the developed economies are the biggest polluters currently.

  • Evan Tsai - 2012-07-08 10:33

    Lol I can't believe she's blaming the lack of growth from green house emissions.. We will spend more fixing it after we become a developed nation.. Why don't we start now? World Bank is subsidizing SA for green energy usage and development. Blame COSATU for the lack of growth, not the developed world

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