Lack of action a serious concern to the Climate Commission

The intensity and frequency of natural occurrences like floods and droughts has risen sharply due to climate change. This was stated by the Presidential Climate Commission following its recently held Lekgotla at which the commission declared 2023 a year of “just action”.

The commission said, “The need to drive a transition towards a climate-resilient future due to the ever-increasing effects of climate change has been well proven, with South Africa severely impacted by climate variability and experiences such as droughts and floods.”

Again, the commission maintained that the Just Transition Framework as approved by Cabinet in August 2022 remained a solid foundation for building a carbon neutral and climate resilient society and ensuring a sustainable future for South Africa. Additionally, the commission’s lekgotla undertook to strengthen consultations and research as it prepares to present its policy recommendations and means of implementation on the framework.

“The Just Transition Framework is underpinned by distributive, restorative and procedural justice principles agreed upon by key social partners in business, civil society and the trade unions. Likewise, there is a high-level agreement on the definition of the Just Transition, which includes a vision for a quality life for all South Africans, net-zero emissions, adaptive capacity, climate resilience and decentralised diversely-owned renewable energy systems,” the commission asserted.

South Africa has contributed to the realisation of the transition in a number of ways, such as developing its first Nationally Determined Contributions in 2015 and submitting them to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change. What is more, the country further committed itself to ambitious adaptation and mitigation actions to affirm the significance of the Just Transition Framework.

“Although the framework is responding primarily to the crisis of climate change,” the commission continued, “it also addresses the interrelated crises of energy, including load shedding and Eskom’s debt; the economy, including low-growth and unemployment; and a broader environmental crisis including water availability, land degradation and biodiversity loss.”

Moreover, the commission expressed serious concern on the slow progress made by the international community in combating climate change, primarily attributing the snail-paced implementation of climate goals to the absence of a comprehensive and clearly defined and financed plan of action guiding the world’s responses to climate impacts.

“While there are many reasons for lack of implementation, including self-interest, poor leadership, state capture, corruption, a weakening of state capacity and institutions, one factor is still the absence of a common plan of action underpinned by partnership to work together to get things done, and how state and society can work together,” it said.

This year, the commission will prioritise implementation, which will include taking action to ensure communities can withstand climate risks, empowering people and strengthening policies to achieve just and equitable outcomes.

Follow @SundayWorldZA on Twitter and @sundayworldza on Instagram, or like our Facebook Page, Sunday World, by clicking here for the latest breaking news in South Africa. To Subscribe to Sunday World, click here

Latest News