Carbon adjustment measures will have far-reaching economic repercussions for developing countries

  • The Speaker of the National Assembly in South Africa, Ms Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula has cautioned that the Carbon Border Adjustment Mechanism by the European Union (EU) could undermine equity and the development of trade initiatives.
  • This impact, she said, will largely be detrimental to developing and underdeveloped countries.

Speaking at an Inter-Parliamentary Union meeting happening as part of the 28th Conference of the Parties of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (COP28), Ms Mapisa-Nqakula said that the administration of the Carbon Border Adjustment Mechanism can be discriminatory and is a major trade barrier that will lead to economic loss in an environment where efforts should be directed at finding solutions to socio-economic hardships of climate change. The meeting was held under the theme: “Bridging the gap, advancing climate action and adaptation for vulnerable communities.”

The Carbon Border Adjustment Mechanism is a carbon levy that will apply initially to imports of aluminium, cement, electricity, fertilisers, hydrogen, iron, and steel, and it could substantially increase the cost of exporting to the EU.

The Speaker reiterated South Africa’s commitment to climate change action as a strategic pillar to the country’s sustainable development agenda and emphasised the country’s pledge to act to alleviate the negative impact of climate change. In line with this, Parliament passed the Disaster Management Act, which provides the framework for an integrated and coordinated disaster management policy focused on prevention, mitigation, emergency preparedness, rapid and effective response, and post-disaster recovery.

The Parliament of South Africa delegation applauded the landmark decision to “operationalise the new fund on Loss and Damage” and the $100 billion pledge on climate financing. While discussions about the fund have been lengthy, the need to resolve the remaining disputes around loss and damage funding, governance, and eligibility was urgent. Also of importance is the need to prioritise Africa’s adaptation needs in the global climate discourse.

The Speaker underscored the importance of parliamentarians enhancing oversight over the Loss and Damages Fund for greater accountability. “Our parliamentary role as representatives of our people cannot be over-emphasised in rendering the oversight responsibility of this fund. This, among others, will encompass the monitoring of the use of the funds during implementation processes by governments and ensuring regular reporting,” Ms Mapisa-Nqakula said.

Ms Mapisa-Nqakula stressed that multilateralism in global climate change operations was a critical tool and an enabler towards effective climate change action. “The transition to low carbon emissions is a shared responsibility, and it is only through effective collaboration that COP commitments will be translated into actionable realities,” she said.

In line with the call for multilateralism and joint efforts to find solutions, the Speaker reiterated the call for the silencing of guns in the Russia/Ukraine conflict and the Israel and Palestine conflict to ensure the focus is on finding solutions to socio-economic challenges caused by climate change.

The Speaker also urged delegations from other parliaments attending COP28 to do everything possible to complement the efforts of governments to mitigate the impact of climate change and ensuring that no country is left behind.

To download soundbite by the Speaker of the National Assembly, Ms Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula, please follow the link: https://iono.fm/e/1387738

Source: SA Parliament

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