Parliamentary monitoring Group 1 September 2010.
The Department of Environmental Affairs briefed the Committee on the national policy for Climate Change in South Africa, and on what had been achieved at Copenhagen, what was expected at the Mexico meeting and the initiatives that would be needed in future.
South Africa was playing a leading role in the Conference of Parties. A task team on climate change was being set up. The policy process had been launched with a Policy Discussion Document and Roundtable on Climate Policy held in May 2010. There had been consultation with stakeholder groupings, and the Intergovernmental Committee on Climate Change was formed to foster the exchange of information, consultation, agreement, assistance and support among the different spheres of government. Input had been made, and a Green Paper had been drawn. This highlighted the need for adaptation in the water, health and agriculture sectors. Sound and sustainable development would be regarded as development that was also climate-friendly. Interventions focused on the poor, the vulnerable, and on women, and there would be a scaling-up of programmes that achieved poverty eradication, job creation and climate objectives.
The information process was also vital. It was necessary to decide on the energy mix for the future, since South Africa was energy-intensive, and to harness the opportunities and challenges for low-carbon transitions. Climate policy and energy plans must be harmonized. It would also be necessary to find the financing and the means to mobilise both national and international finance to support expanded actions. Key policy processes were likely to be presented to Cabinet at the end of the year, after a consultation process…