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CER lauds enactment of Climate Change Bill, says related policies should also be collaborative

30th April 2024

By: Marleny Arnoldi

Deputy Editor Online

     

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With the National Council of Provinces having passed the Climate Change Bill and it nearing official promulgation, nonprofit organisation the Centre for Environmental Rights (CER) has stressed the need for constructive stakeholder consultation on the development of various policies and laws that will flow from the Bill.

CER says the enactment of the Climate Change Bill has been long-awaited and sets the stage for comprehensive adaptation, mitigation and institutional arrangements.

The legislation incorporates the country’s greenhouse-gas (GHG) emissions reduction trajectory – the latest Nationally Determined Contribution in terms of the Paris Climate Agreement – which signals a significant stride towards a sustainable future. 

The CER stresses the importance of the Bill taking precedence over other climate legislation and mandating the alignment of all laws, policies and measures of government departments with the Bill.

Notably, the Bill imposes obligations on all three tiers of government to map, plan and respond to adaptation needs, given the mounting impacts of climate change across society.

The legislation introduces carbon budgets allocating an amount of GHG emissions to major emitters and requires the submission of GHG mitigation plans. It also stablishes sectoral emissions targets (SET) to distribute available carbon space across sectors.

A draft SET report has been published for comment by June 25.

“While the enactment of the Climate Change [Bill] is a milestone achievement, key regulations, including carbon budget and mitigation plan regulations, are still forthcoming. It is imperative that these regulations incorporate sufficiently strict measures to ensure compliance and effectiveness,” says CER climate change and pollution programme head Brand Abdinor.

He adds that the success of the Climate Change Bill will hinge on political will and constructive stakeholder consultation, with public participation now being encouraged more than ever to ensure all relevant issues are addressed in the development of more policies and laws.

Abdinor concludes that, as South Africa works to increase its resilience to climate impacts and reduce its emissions, the Climate Change Bill stands as a beacon of hope signalling a firm commitment to safeguarding the planet for future generations.

Edited by Chanel de Bruyn
Creamer Media Senior Deputy Editor Online

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