Comments on the Climate Change Bill

  • Published:

We appreciate the move towards a legally binding Climate Change Act in South Africa, recognizing the urgency due to ongoing climate change impacts. These impacts range from increasing droughts, floods, fires and heat waves that threaten public health and infrastructure, food and water access, and worsen existing vulnerabilities from differences in gender, class, race, and where people live.

With support from over 30 organisations, the RACR project compiled the following comments on the Climate Change bill:

We commend the bill's principles, including the emphasis on considering the special needs of localities and vulnerable groups in decision-making. We stress the need for translating these consultative decision-making principles into practical implementation, particularly in rural communities.

While the bill suggests the formation of Municipal forums' to coordinate local climate change responses, we express concerns about insufficient capacity and infrastructure disrepair within local municipalities, and the lack of community organizations in municipal forums. Municipal forums should actively engage and support community-based organizations who are often central to local responses to climate impacts.

The bill lacks timeframes for critical aspects like carbon budgets, SETS, and GHG emission trajectory. We recommend including deadlines for setting the emission reduction trajectory, assigning carbon budgets, and completing sectoral emission targets. Strong emission reduction targets, based on the latest science, including a net-zero target by 2050, should be integral to the Bill.

In conclusion, we emphasize the urgency of approving a legally binding Climate Change Act in South Africa.

Click here to read our submission: