President Jacob Zuma on Monday urged delegates at the 21st Conference of the Parties of the United Nations Framework for Climate Change Convention (COP 21) in Paris to deliver a legally binding agreement which would be fair to developing nations.

“Paris must deliver a legally binding agreement, which is based on equity and differentiation, and which will enable ambitious implementation actions through the provision of finance, technology and capacity-building support from developed countries,” Zuma said.

“Since developing countries already experience climate change impacts, the Paris agreement cannot focus only on mitigation. A global goal for adaptation must be part of the agreement.”

Zuma encouraged conference participants to act in solidarity with developing countries.

He stressed South Africa had completed its Intended Nationally Determined Contribution (INDC), which outlines the country’s position “in accordance with our national circumstances and priorities”.

In the INDC, the South African government spells out its position, which includes that, because developed nations are the biggest contributors to global climate change but are not as exposed to its effects as poorer countries, they should play a bigger role in cutting emissions.

“We urge developed countries, given their historical responsibility, to take the lead and honour their existing commitments. In this regard, climate finance must be scaled up significantly beyond the one hundred billion US dollar mark for the post-2020 period,” Zuma said.

“Should the developed nations fail to play their part, an impression will be created that the climate change crisis was caused by a few privileged nations who are not sympathetic about its impact on the majority.”