SA updates climate change measures

Thursday, September 23, 2021

South Africa’s updated Nationally Determined Contribution (NDC) will soon be deposited with the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC). 

This as Cabinet approved the revised NDC, the Climate Bill and SA’s negotiating position for COP26.

The NDC represents South Africa's contribution to global efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and mitigate climate change.

The country’s NDC target range for 2025 has been updated from its original value of 398-614 Mt CO2-eq, to a range of 398-510 Mt for 2025.

“Of greater significance is our 2030 mitigation target range, which has been updated from 398-614 Mt CO2-eq to a range of 350-420 Mt CO2-eq.

“The top of the range of our revised NDC is consistent with the Paris Agreement's temperature limit of ‘well below 2 degrees’, and the bottom of the range is consistent with the Paris Agreement's 1.5-degree temperature limit,” the Department of Forestry, Fisheries and Environment said in a statement.

South Africa has also brought forward the year in which emissions are due to decline from 2035 in the initial NDC, to 2025 in the updated NDC.

The submission of the updated NDC follows widespread consultation with business, organised labour, government, civil society and the Climate Commission.

“This consultation indicated that current mitigation strategies in the energy, transport and waste sectors, together with afforestation measures, will allow us to achieve the upper range of the target.

“More ambitious achievement will require significant multilateral financial support and technological transfer. Discussions in this regard are ongoing with a range of governments and financing institutions,” the department said.

The updated NDC contains South Africa's first Adaptation Communication, detailing the country's adaptation goals to be implemented via the recently-finalised National Climate Change Adaptation Strategy, and updated mitigation targets for 2025 and 2030.

Cabinet has also adopted the long-awaited Climate Change Bill, South Africa’s negotiating position for the 26th international climate change (COP26) talks later this year, as well as our fourth Biennial Updated Report (BUR).

This 4th BUR provides an update on the Greenhouse Gas (GHG) emissions inventory for the period 2000 to 2017, including the GHG mitigation achieved in the same period, along with the support needed and received.

The Climate Change Bill, which will soon be tabled in Parliament, provides for a coordinated and integrated response by the economy and society to climate change and its impacts. 

The Bill spells out that all adaptation and mitigation efforts should be based on the best available science, evidence and information.

It further gives effect to South Africa’s international commitments and obligations in relation to climate change, and defines the steps to be taken to protect and preserve the planet for the benefit of present and future generations.

The tabling of the Climate Bill in the National Assembly will represent an important step forward in the development of the country’s architecture to manage and combat climate change. – SAnews.gov.za

 

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