JOHANNESBURG, A panel led by Environmental Affairs Minister Edna Molewa will this week discuss climate change during the South African Talanoa Dialogue to be held at the Midrand Conference Centre here on Thursday and Friday.

Marcus Cornaro, the European Union ambassador to South Africa, will open the plenary session along with former French chief negotiator for the United Nations climate change agreement, Laurence Tubiana. Molewa will deliver the keynote address.

State parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change [UNFCCC], including South Africa, in 2015 adopted the landmark Paris Agreement in an effort to guide and accelerate the international community’s response to climate change.

In terms of the Paris Agreement, parties have submitted Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs) indicating their individual contributions to the global effort and have also agreed to multilateral processes to assess and advance collective efforts to achieve the Paris Agreement’s global goals on mitigation, adaptation and financial pathways towards the transition to a low emissions and climate resilient future, the Department of Environmental Affairs said in a statement here Tuesday.

The Talanoa Dialogue, previously known as the 2018 Facilitative Dialogue, is the first of these key multilateral stocktaking events and discussions on the collective effort. It seeks to inform the preparation or updating of Nationally Determined Contributions in 2020. The dialogue is premised on three overarching questions: Where are we? Where do we want to go? How do we get there?

The South African Talanoa Dialogue is a platform for all stakeholders to share stories, aspirations, and ideas of how South Africa’s climate change response can foster its development aspirations.

Talanoa is a traditional word used in Fiji and across the Pacific to reflect a process of inclusive, participatory and transparent dialogue.

Ministers from South Africa’s Energy, Water and Sanitation; Economic Developmen; and International Relations and Co-operation portfolios are expected to participate in the dialogue, together with representatives of national, provincial and local governments, businesses, civil society, academia, scientists, the youth and non-governmental organizations (NGOs).