CIVIL SOCIETY: “CABINET MUST SCRAP OBSOLETE CLIMATE OBJECTIVES – GET
Legislation to drive climate change response, potentially much improved following public
comment last year, is expected in Parliament soon. Cabinet will also be required to sign off on the
‘Low-Emissions Development Strategy’ (LEDS), a draft of which was published for comment by the
end of January 2019. To date South Africa’s mitigation actions and plans fall well short of what is
required to avoid catastrophic global warming and there is little to suggest this will change.
However, the Minister of Energy has called for a Just Transition to a low-carbon economy and we
have been promised a Presidential Climate Change Coordinating Commission (P4C).
THE TIME IS NOW!
South Africa’s greenhouse gas emissions intentions are grounded in research concluded in 2008
and formalised in the National Climate Change Response Policy adopted in 2011, in the form of a
wide range for annual emissions all the way to 2050 (known as the Peak, Plateau and Decline or
PPD Range). Even if emissions decline to the bottom of this range within a decade and stay at the
bottom , such a trajectory is not commensurate with our multilateral commitment to keep global 1
warming well below 2 degrees. This despite government in various fora acknowledging that
climate change impacts are already exacerbating poverty and inequality and that ambitious
mitigation is urgently required as a condition for achieving our socio-economic development
The draft LEDS is currently a compilation of existing measures and intentions, with no formulation
of a coherent strategy or identification of the most pressing strategic choices that need to be
made; fixing this could be a leading priority for the P4C, if this is formalised as a transparent and
accountable institution. The electricity draft Integrated Resource Plan (IRP 2018) is similarly
compromised, including a so-called “carbon budget” that allows for far higher emissions than
would result from following a least-cost supply plan.
Civil society organisations hereby challenge Ramaphosa and his Cabinet to get decisive and put 2
the enduring interests of all South African’s ahead of short-term returns to vested interests that
are driving prevarication and obstructing a deep and just transition; to demonstrate that they are
not in denial about the science – particularly the recent IPCC Special Report that establishes how
severe the escalation of impacts will become above 1.5 degrees of average warming – nor careless
of the consequences of maintaining the status quo.
Emissions are currently approximately 520 Mt CO2e per annum, while the bottom of the PPD
Range is 398 Mt CO2e annually for 2025 to 2035 and then declines to just over 200 Mt CO2e in 2050
(top of the range is over 50% more).
Project 90 by 2030 is leading this challenge with participants of Energy Governance South Africa
(EGSA), a network of dedicated to promoting good governance in the energy sector (see:
www.egsa.org.za); with support from the Friedrich Ebert Stiftung.
Inaction is no better than denial in the face of compelling scientific evidence and human
suffering. The electricity plan, the ‘Strategy’ that we present internationally in the LEDS and
imminent legislation all require resolute leadership making clear choices in the public interest – as
will be elaborated at the briefing:
Date: 30th January 2019
Time: 9:30 – 11:30
Venue: Inyathelo (Buchanan Square, 160 Sir Lowry Rd, Woodstock, Cape Town) Snacks and
refreshments will be provided.
EGSA Members attending so far are:
Hilton Trollip (University of Cape Town)
Nicole Loser (Centre for Environmental Rights)
Glen Tyler (350.org)
Richard Halsey (Project 90 by 2030)
Space is limited to 15 participants so please RSVP to Natalie Geyser
email@example.com or on 021 6745094 by Monday 29th January 13h00.
Project 90 by 2030 works with youth, communities and civil society organisations to advocate for a
Just Energy Transition towards energy systems that are more sustainable for people and the planet.
We mobilise citizens, business and Government to actions that reduce their impact on the
environment and lead to a decarbonised economy.