South African President Cyril Ramaphosa said he doesn’t plan to attend United Nations-sponsored climate talks in Glasgow next month because the country will be holding municipal elections.
Ramaphosa will send representatives to the gathering, he told reporters on Friday.
South Africa, the most industrialised nation on the continent, relies on coal to generate most of its electricity. A delegation of officials from rich nations visited South Africa this week to discuss a plan to reduce its dependence on the fossil fuel.
Ramaphosa said that pledges made to assist poorer nations in dealing with climate change need to be honored.
“We want your more developed economies that have been responsible for the greatest emissions in the world, to be the ones who will live up to the offers they have made in the past,” he said. “Once they do that, we will then be able to navigate our own transition.”