SA Government Improves 2030 Climate Mitigation Target Range Ahead of COP26

  • The South African government (Cabinet) has approved the revised Nationally Determined Contribution (NDC), the Climate Bill and SA’s negotiating position ahead of COP26 taking place in Glasgow, Scotland between 31 October and 12 November 2021. 
  • The NDC represents South Africa’s contribution to global efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and mitigate climate change.
  • According to the Carbon Brief, South Africa isis the world’s 14th largest emitter of greenhouse gases (GHGs). 

The country’s NDC target range for 2025 has been updated from its original value of 398-614 Mt CO2-eq, to a range of 398-510 Mt for 2025.

“Of greater significance is our 2030 mitigation target range, which has been updated from 398-614 Mt CO2-eq to a range of 350-420 Mt CO2-eq. The top of the range of our revised NDC is consistent with the Paris Agreement’s temperature limit of ‘well below 2 degrees’, and the bottom of the range is consistent with the Paris Agreement’s 1.5-degree temperature limit,” the Department of Forestry, Fisheries and Environment said in a statement.

South Africa has also brought forward the year in which emissions are due to decline from 2035 in the initial NDC, to 2025 in the updated NDC.

The submission of the updated NDC follows widespread consultation with business, organised labour, government, civil society and the Climate Commission.

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Cabinet has also adopted the long-awaited Climate Change Bill, South Africa’s negotiating position for the 26th international climate change (COP26) talks later this year, as well as our fourth Biennial Updated Report (BUR).

This 4th BUR provides an update on the Greenhouse Gas (GHG) emissions inventory for the period 2000 to 2017, including the GHG mitigation achieved in the same period, along with the support needed and received.

The Climate Change Bill, which will soon be tabled in Parliament, provides for a coordinated and integrated response by the economy and society to climate change and its impacts.

The Bill spells out that all adaptation and mitigation efforts should be based on the best available science, evidence and information.

It further gives effect to South Africa’s international commitments and obligations in relation to climate change, and defines the steps to be taken to protect and preserve the planet for the benefit of present and future generations.

Author: Bryan Groenendaal


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