South Africa Leaders and Opponents

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Government Official
Dr. Edna Molewa
Minister of Environmental Affairs

The Department of Environmental Affairs, under the leadership of Minister Molewa, was the main architect of South Africa’s leading climate change policy document, the National Climate Change Response Policy White Paper, launched in 2011. Minister Molewa signed the Paris Agreement at the United Nations in New York on 22 April 2016, on behalf of the South African Government.

Her pragmatic approach to climate change adaptation is laudable. One example of her no-nonsense attitude is where she stated (when South Africa ratified the Paris Agreement on 2 November 2016), that, “it was clear that the only choice for humanity is to take ambitious and practical action, through reducing greenhouse gas emissions, preparing for extreme events, and adapting to the impacts of climate change.”

Contact:  (Chief of Staff)

Climate Program Advocate
Adv Andrew Gilder
Senior Associate at ENSafrica Law Firm

Andrew Gilder is an admitted attorney of the South African High Court and specializes in carbon markets and climate change law and policy. He serves on various environmental associations. Related to his work on climate change, Andrew is involved in air quality legal issues in South Africa and the operationalization of the National Environmental Management: Air Quality Act, as well as the domestic legal regime for power generation. He regularly presents at climate conferences and seminars, and recently urged the East African community to invest in projects aimed at reducing greenhouse emissions.


Climate Program Opponent
Mr. Ivo Vegter
Independent Columnist

Ivo is an outspoken environmental journalist and the author of Extreme Environment, a book on ‘environmental exaggeration and how it harms emerging economies’. He has written controversial columns on climate change, e.g. ‘Paris Climate Conference is a waste of time and money’ and he views climate change as ‘pseudo-science’.



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