Vision, Strategic Direction and Framework for Climate Policy

Last updated: 5 November 2017
The South African governments vision, strategic direction and framework for climate policy was announced on 28 July 2008. The strategy follows two and a half years of work involving stakeholders from government, business, civil society and labour. It is based on findings and policy recommendations stemming from the South African governments long-term mitigation scenario (LTMS) process on climate change, launched in 2006. The LTMS presented three strategic options to deviate from business-as-usual greenhouse gas emissions trajectories, which the current vision, strategic direction and framework aim to implement. The governments vision is to limit global temperature increase to 2 degrees centigrade above pre-industrial levels, through a policy response comprising six themes. Theme 1: Greenhouse gas emission reductions and limits. - South Africas emissions trajectory is to follow a growth, plateau and decline trajectory. Emissions are to stop growing at the latest by 2020-25, to stabilise for up to ten years, and then to decline in absolute terms. Climate change mitigation measures are to be informed by, measured and monitored against this trajectory. Theme 2: Build on, strengthen and/or scale up current initiatives. - Current energy efficiency and electricity demand-side management initiatives and interventions are to be scaled-up and reinforced through available regulatory instruments and other appropriate mechanisms, including being made mandatory. - The governments energy efficiency policies and strategies are to be continuously reviewed and amended to reflect more ambitious national targets aligned with the LTMS - The Treasury is to study the introduction of a carbon tax, starting at low levels and escalating to higher levels by 2018-20, while being sensitive to higher and lower tax levels. The Treasury is to report to the Cabinet on its findings. Theme 3: Implementing the "Business Unusual" Call for Action. Key sectors are identified as "business unusual" sectors, with specific actions and measures to be taken. - The renewable energy sector has been identified as a key "business unusual" growth sector and policies and measures are to be put in place to meet a more ambitious national target for renewable energy. - The transport sector has also been identified as another key "business unusual" growth sector and policies and measures are to be put in place to meet ambitious and mandatory national targets for the reduction of GHG emissions from this sector. - The government is to promote the transition to a low-carbon economy and society, with all policy and other decisions that may have an impact on South Africas greenhouse gas emissions taking this commitment into account. Theme 4: Preparing for the future. - Increasing support for new and ambitious research and development targets being set, especially in the field of carbon-friendly technologies - with the focus on the renewable energy and transport sectors. - Using both formal and informal forms of education and outreach to encourage the behavioural changes required to support efficient and effective implementation of the climate change response policy. Theme 5: Vulnerability and Adaptation - Continue to identify and describe South Africas vulnerability to climate change, to prioritise adaptation interventions, while identifying who is to drive them and how they are to be monitored. Affected government departments are to ensure that adaptation to climate change in their sectors are included as departmental key performance areas. - The government is to pro-actively build on the knowledge base and capacity to adapt to climate change, including by enhancing early warning and disaster reduction systems, and in the provision of various services. Theme 6: Alignment, Coordination and Cooperation - The roles and responsibilities of all stakeholders, particularly the organs of state in all three spheres of government, will be clearly defined and articulated. - The structures req

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