In June 2018, South Africa released a draft Climate Change Bill through the late Minister of Environmental Affairs, Ms Edna Molewa, that was aimed at guiding South Africa to achieving their Nationally Determined Contributions and adhering to their Paris agreement pledge. This bill would provide a legal framework on how to hold accountable each government department, industries and individuals.
The Climate Change bill is divided into six chapters in total. Chapter one: Interpretation, objections and application. Chapter two: Policy Alignment and Institutional Arrangements. Chapter three: Climate Change response for provinces and municipalities. Chapter four: National Adaptation to impacts of climate change. Chapter five: Greenhouse gas emissions and removals. Chapter 6: General matters and transitional arrangements. The chapters in the bill are aimed at achieving national adaptation objectives, determining a national greenhouse gas emissions trajectory, prescribing sectoral emissions targets, and determining a greenhouse gas emissions threshold to inform the allocation of carbon budgets. The bill acknowledges that climate change represents an urgent threat to the environment, and therefore requires an immediate, effective, progressive and well-coordinated response. It also realizes that the climate change impacts will undermine the country’s development goals, and as a result, responses to climate change for countries such as South Africa raises unique challenges that require a legislative framework for the effective implementation of the country’s national climate change response and emission reduction targets. A ministerial committee would be established by the national department of Environmental Affairs that would oversee, monitor and manage the implantation of the bills’ progress.
It has been more than 5 months however, and there seems to be no interest and a lack of urgency in the South African government’s actions to pass this bill. South Africa is one of the most polluting countries in the world, and therefore the report by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change that countries are not near their targets should be a wake-up call for South Africa.
Activity Rating: ** Standing Still
There has been a lot of input and recommendations from civil society, government structures and concerned individuals on the climate change bill, however it seems to be stuck in the final phases of being passed.
Take Action: Please send the following message to the policymaker below:
Dear Honourable President of the Republic of South Africa,
We are concerned about the level of urgency in passing the proposed South African Climate Change Bill. We request that the President review the bill and sign it as soon as possible, as we are running out of time. This would be in the best interest of our country and its citizens.
Contact-send your message to:
Personal Assistant to the President
Telephone: (Union Buildings) +27 12 300 5271
Fax: (Union Buildings) +27 12 323 3114