DFFE says no closed-door climate meetings held, will respond to PAIA request

31st August 2023 By: Schalk Burger - Creamer Media Senior Deputy Editor

The Department of Forestry, Fisheries and the Environment (DFFE) says it has not conducted any secret meetings with business on the review of the country’s climate change commitments.

It has confirmed having received a request for access to information in terms of the Promotion of Access to Information Act (PAIA) for information related to alleged closed-door meetings and other interactions between government officials and private industry representatives relating to South Africa’s policy and regulatory approach to climate change mitigation and adaptation.

The application, from Just Share and the amaBhungane Centre for Investigative Journalism, also relates to other interactions on South Africa’s energy mix, the just transition to a low-carbon economy and any associated infrastructure and resource exploration activities.

The DFFE says it will respond to the PAIA application in due course.

"South Africa concluded its process to develop its national climate change commitments on climate mitigation and adaptation in 2021. The process involved rigorous public consultation and the Presidential Climate Commission, a constituency-based advisory body, provided valuable advisory inputs that led to the finalisation of the Nationally Determined Contribution (NDC).

Through the updated NDC, South Africa has committed to a target range of 420-million tonnes to 350-million tonnes of greenhouse-gas emissions by 2030.  This is consistent with the Paris Agreement limit of a temperature increase well below 2 oC.

"Since then, there has not been any subsequent discussion to review these targets," the department said.