Humankind faces its greatest existential threat in the form of climate change.
South Africa, as a responsible global citizen, will not shrink from its responsibility to address the important tasks that lie ahead to mitigate, and adapt to, climate change.
The Presidential Commission on Climate Change will ensure that no one is left behind as the country moves towards a low-carbon growth trajectory. The transition will happen in a responsible, phased and planned manner.
South Africa will continue to lobby developed countries to provide for an adequate, reliable and predictable source of international funding for both mitigation and adaptation.
We are undertaking a decisive shift in our energy trajectory. A Section 34 Ministerial Determination will be issued shortly to give effect to the Integrated Resource Plan 2019, enabling the development of additional grid capacity from renewable energy, natural gas, hydro power and battery storage.
Climate Change Bill
The Climate Change Bill is being finalised and will provide a regulatory framework for the effective management of inevitable climate change impacts by enhancing adaptive capacity, strengthening resilience and reducing vulnerability to climate change – and identifying new industrial opportunities in the green economy.
The legislation will be tabled in the National Assembly this year, while the National Adaptation Strategy is to be finalised. This strategy will galvanise investment in preparedness, early-warning capabilities and risk-mitigation measures for society.
Because of the drought affecting many parts of the country, farmers have lost crops and livestock and many workers have lost their livelihoods.
Working with the Agricultural Research Council and other scientific and agricultural bodies, we have developed drought-mitigation strategies that focus on developing drought-resistant seeds, planting and storing fodder, removing of invasive plants and management strategies to prevent soil degradation.
The Department of Environment, Forestry and Fisheries (DEFF) will this year assist municipalities in implementing their climate change response strategies, while the SA Weather Service will ramp up efforts to educate local communities so they can better understand climate change and respond appropriately.