Govt holds seminar on low carbon growth

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Pretoria - The National Planning Commission on Tuesday concluded a dialogue on how to transition the country to a low carbon economy.

The aim of the event was to stimulate discussion on precisely how South Africa would manage the complexities of shifting to a low carbon economy over time. 

Questions such as what are the drivers for business to change, how do we protect the poor and vulnerable from climate change, how do we reduce carbon emissions while still raising growth and employment, how we can promote industries that are less carbon intensive and what implications global trends have for South African policy makers were discussed at the seminar, held in Johannesburg.

The two-day event dealt with both the science and economics of climate change and discussed the implications for policy formulation and for society as a whole.

The dialogue was opened by Minister in the Presidency Trevor Manuel and attended by about 100 people from a broad range of organisations, business, labour, academia, government and civil society. 

"While it is clear that there is overwhelming evidence that CO2 emissions by humans are contributing to climate variability and that we need to curb our emissions, it is also clear that we need a careful, well thought through plan to manage this transition so that we can continue growing, creating jobs, reducing poverty and inequality while at the same time reducing our carbon emissions," said the Presidency in a statement at the conclusion of the seminar.

"This will not be an easy or straight-forward transition. Managing climate change involves all of society, many aspects of public policy and globally coordinated actions. The National Planning Commission recognises this huge challenge and it is likely to be an important part of the plan that will be released later in the year," said the Presidency.

Similar seminars on a range of topics are expected to be held over the next few months to give South Africans from all walks of life a chance to engage with the difficult challenges facing South Africans. 

This will in turn ensure all South Africans can get involved in the drafting of the vision statement and national plan that the commission will release in November 2011. - BuaNews