The Department of Environmental Affairs (DEA) has developed a draft Climate Change Bill. Minister Edna Molewa made the announcement at a press briefing in May 2018 and said that her department will also finalise the National Climate Change Adaptation Strategy.
The draft Climate Change Bill has been proposed to a committee of Cabinet members and will soon be referred to the entire Cabinet for approval before moving on to Parliament.
What does the Climate Change Bill propose?
Minister Molewa states that the bill will create institutional cooperation between government departments to tackle climate change. The minister will set the national trajectory and provincial departments will be responsible for the implementation of her plans.
Director general of the DEA, Nosipho Ngcaba, confirms that the draft bill makes provisions for reducing and adapting the effects of climate change in South Africa. It also proposes economic tools such as carbon budgets.
“All of our actions have become all the more imperative within the context of an ever-changing climate,” says Molewa.
“The increasing frequency and intensity of extreme weather events around South Africa, from the flash flooding in some parts of the country to devastating drought in other parts, tells us that climate change has long become a measurable reality,” she adds.
South Africa plays a role in international policies
South Africa is a signatory of the Paris Agreement – a United Nations initiative that aims to tackle greenhouse gas emissions, find adaptation strategies and finance solutions starting in 2020. This is an acknowledgement between nations that climate change is a global problem.
“South Africa continues to play an active role on the international stage through participation in a number of key multilateral environmental agreements and their associated negotiations,” says Molewa.
According to the minister, the DEA is currently beginning the first phase of its greenhouse gas emission reduction system. Carbon budgets have already been approved for most of South Africa’s biggest greenhouse gas emitters.
The second stage involves supporting South Africa’s transition to a low-carbon economy and a society that supports green energy.
Image credit: GCIS
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