South Africa, and the world, can no longer afford to treat the impending climate crisis as a future problem. Urgent action, driven by committed leadership, is required to ensure adaption to, and mitigation of, climate change effects.
We must act as one to overcome the following constraints:
Reliance on carbon-emitting industries, energy generation and transport: reliance on extractive industries, coal-powered energy generation and motorised transport means that South Africa emits high levels of greenhouse gases.
Insufficient nationally-determined contributions (NDCs): South Africa’s NDC’s, which outlines the country’s contribution to global efforts to fight climate change, is below what can be considered as the country’s fair-share contribution.
Insufficient political urgency: climate change is not the focus of political action despite evidence proving that it is an immediate threat.
What We Believe
Climate change is an existential threat to the livelihood of everyone on earth, and we need a comprehensive and shared response to ensure the wellbeing of mankind.
People living in our more impoverished communities are the most vulnerable – higher temperatures compromise their access to water and electricity, and such communities are often located within flood lines. We need to develop a just system that supports equal access to these essential services and build climate resilience into these communities.
We commit ourselves to being responsible members of the global society and to achieving South Africa’s commitment to the Paris Agreement on Climate Change.
Climate change poses a severe risk to South Africa because we are a water-scarce country, and our survival largely depends on our ability to grow our own food.
The impact of climate change will be felt even more severely on our neighbouring countries and regional partners, and a climate-driven migration crisis is inevitable.
As signatories to the Paris Agreement on Climate Change, we must take urgent action to reduce the country’s carbon footprint and actively promote the adoption of sustainable practices across society.
Climate change adaptation and mitigation and economic growth are not mutually exclusive. However, individual and corporate consumption habits have to change, and the correct utilisation of the green economy provides a pathway to inclusive economic growth.
While climate change mitigation and adaptation measures are critical, we must acknowledge that specific impacts of climate change are unavoidable and must thus adopt realistic resilience measures to reduce the adverse effects of such changes.
Promote green industries to unlock its potential of creating sustainable work opportunities and inclusive growth.
Accelerate the adoption of the national circular economy strategy to incentivise the adoption of circular economy principles in all sectors of the economy.
Partner with private-sector financial institutions to provide progressive funding opportunities for SMMEs that operate in the green economy.
Provide additional support for eco-tourism to promote environmentally sustainable tourism practices.
Partner with academic and research institutions to improve South Africa’s scientific capacity and knowledge base related to future, carbon-neutral industries and to enhance education on the dangers of climate change.
Implement improved water management practices, including maintenance of infrastructure, to secure South Africa’s at-risk water supply.
Protect South Africa’s natural diversity by expanding the areas classified as nature reserves and capacitating law enforcement agencies to address wildlife poaching.
Launch wide-reaching tree-planting initiatives and promote the use of indigenous plants. Tree-planting and natural habitat development must be water-wise and targeted interventions are required to combat desertification.