The cabinet of South Africa has approved the establishment of the Presidential Climate Change Coordinating Commission on the 9th of September 2020. Its mandate is to coordinate the implementation of South Africa’s Low Emissions Development Strategy, and the revised National Waste Management Strategy 2020. The Commission also will coordinate the just transition to a low carbon climate and resilient economy and society by 2050. Cabinet’s decision is aligned with the Presidential Job Summit Framework Agreement signed during the Presidential Job Summit in 2018.
South Africa is the signatory to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC). The submission of the country’s Low Emission Development (LED) Strategy to the UNFCCC Secretariat was also approved by the cabinet. This LED Strategy will improve the national climate change and development policy in a more coordinated, comprehensible, and strategic manner. It provides mitigation measures focusing on four key sectors of the economy, such as energy, industry, agriculture, forestry and land use, and waste.
The National Waste Management Strategy (NWMS) 2020 was also approved and will replace the NWMS 2011. The waste management strategy gives into effect the terms of the National Environmental Management: Waste Act, 2008 (Act 59 of 2008). It directs the environmental protection programmes and drives sustainable, environmentally friendly, and inclusive economic growth, with three focus pillars – waste minimisation, effective and sustainable services, and waste awareness and compliance.
The Department of Environment, Forestry and Fisheries pointed out that these three strategic elements will contribute to an environment that is not only healthy for all South Africans, but also able to contribute effectively to sustainable economic development and job creation.
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The Presidential Climate Change Commission will become a key platform for facilitating South Africa’s ‘just transition’ to a low-carbon economy. The LED strategy is a response to the Paris Agreement’s call for our country to plan long-term climate strategies.
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This Post was submitted by Climate Scorecard South Africa Country Manager Tabana Mailula