SA increasing efforts on climate change

Wednesday, December 12, 2018

South Africa is scaling-up its current ambitious efforts to address climate change, says Tourism Minister Derek Hanekom.

“We are encouraged by successes achieved thus far. These include our Renewable Energy Independent Power Producers Procurement Programme (REIPPP), which has unlocked in excess of US $14 billion for power generation. This includes $3.74 billion in foreign direct investment,” Hanekom said.

The Minister said the programme has already achieved a reduction of 25.3 mega tonnes of carbon emissions and the saving of 2.99 million kilolitres of water.

Other achievements include the Green Transport Strategy, charting a new area in public transportation; an Energy Efficiency Programme in Industry; and a Public Employment Programme focusing on ecosystem reliance and adaptation.

“We are investing almost 6% of our GDP on adaptation measures. South Africa has the requisite institutions, accountability and governance systems to make best use of available financial resources,” he said.

The Minister on Wednesday released a statement on the high-level segment of the Katowice Climate Change taking place in Poland.

“We are confident that by drawing on international best practices sourced from conferences such as this, making good use of international support and realising the full potential of our own human and material resources, we will succeed in securing a just transition to a low carbon economy,” he said.

The Minister said climate change poses the single most serious threat to Africa’s development and prosperity.

“During the past few years South Africa has experienced devastating weather events. Several regions of our country faced their worst drought in decades. The impact was felt most severely by the poorest and most vulnerable sectors of our society,” he said.

The Minister said adequate and predictable finance is required to empower developing countries to enhance their action and contribute meaningfully to the global effort.

“The link between support and ambition and action is clear and therefore our work on the post-2020 finance arrangements should be geared towards ensuring that there is clarity on how this support has been and will continue to be provided to developing countries and how it will be linked to the transparency system and the global stocktake,” Hanekom said.

He said the conference has the task to conclude the Paris Agreement Work Programme to provide the technical specificity and robust rules, procedures and guidelines that will allow for full and balanced implementation of the Paris Agreement.

“Our duty to the current and future generations is to provide a platform for progression on all issues in the Paris Agreement to ensure that the Global Goals are achieved,” Hanekom said.

The Paris Agreement central aim is to strengthen the global response to the threat of climate change by keeping a global temperature rise this century well below 2 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels and to pursue efforts to limit the temperature increase even further to 1.5 degrees Celsius. 

Additionally, the agreement aims to strengthen the ability of countries to deal with the impacts of climate change. –