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Durban to Host the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change 2011

Durban, South Africa – eThekwini Municipality of Durban has announced that the Seventeenth Conference of the Parties (COP17) of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) and CMP7 will be held in Durban, South Africa, in December 2011. 

This further confirms Durban’s status as the sporting and events capital of Africa and will provide the city with another opportunity to showcase its ability to host large events. It also presents an opportunity from which to raise awareness around climate change and to promote its own climate change work as an example to others. 

Following fierce competition against Cape Town and Johannesburg, both of which were worthy contenders, the announcement of Durban’s award was delivered by Parliament yesterday.

Upon hearing that Durban had won the award, Premier Zweli Mkhize expressed his delight saying that “Durban as our host city in the Province of KwaZulu-Natal has again done us proud and this major conference will not only boost the profile of the city and province, with expected tourism benefits, but will also allow us to showcase our diverse developmental programmes of the city and Province during the COP17 and CMP7 meetings.”

Durban Mayor, the Honourable Obed Mlaba, stated, “Durban looks forward to welcoming as many as 40,000 COP17/CMP7 visitors which will include Heads of State, Government Officials, Businessmen and other delegates. Durban has consistently demonstrated that we are truly a climate change leader. It is only fitting that an event such as COP17/CMP7 is held in a city that has achieved this high standing at both a national and an internal level.” 

Durban has on numerous occasions demonstrated that it has the capacity to host large events. The COP17 conference will be hosted in the Inkosi Albert Luthuli International Convention Centre as well as the Durban Exhibition Centre – the biggest convention centre in South Africa.  

“Hosting such a prestigious conference will provide a range of positive outcomes for the city of Durban and will confirm Durban’s status as Africa’s sporting and events capital,” stated Dr. Michael Sutcliffe, Durban’s City Manager. “The benefits to the city will not only boost Durban’s tourism and hospitality sectors, which will imply the creation of new jobs, but will also generate a significant amount of international publicity for the city and continue to maintain the positive reputation created by the World Cup.”

Furthermore, Durban will be provided with an opportunity to showcase successful and progressive greening projects, some of which are firsts for the African continent. Durban’s work in the climate change arena and its international regard as Africa’s climate change leader really sets it apart. 

The United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC or FCCC) is an international treaty arising from the UN’s conference on Environment and Development. The treaty aims to stabilize greenhouse gas emissions to minimize their impact on the earth’s climate. The Conference of the Parties (COP) is the governing body of the Convention, and advances implementation of the Convention through the decisions it takes at its annual meetings since 1995. In 1997, the Kyoto Protocol was introduced binding obligations for developed countries to reduce their greenhouse gas emissions.

Source: Press Release dated November 15, 2010, issued by eThekwini Municipality’s Communications Unit.