Positive feedback for South Africa’s new Climate Change Bill

The Energy Council of South Africa welcomed the recent passing of the Climate Change Bill (B9B-2022) by the Parliament of South Africa.

Positive feedback for South Africa’s new Climate Change Bill
Droughts and rising temperatures highlight the urgency of enacting effective climate measures.
Photo: FW Archive
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Council CEO James Mackay said in a statement that the Bill was a critical piece of legislation that seeks to enable the development of an effective climate change response and a long-term just transition to a low-carbon and climate-resilient economy and society.

According to him, the Bill corresponded with the council’s strategic objective of a stakeholder-aligned national energy transition that achieves South Africa’s decarbonisation targets whil4 maintaining energy security and affordable access to energy for all South Africans.

READ Climate change: ‘everyone must act now’

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The Bill recognised that South Africa has a vital role to play in the global effort to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and that Southern Africa was especially vulnerable to those impacts of climate change that required urgent and appropriate adaptation responses. Mackay added it was critical that all acknowledge the existential threat climate change posed to Earth.

“The Bill further recognises that South Africa has made international commitments and obligations to communicate and implement effective nationally determined climate change response, mitigation, and adaptation strategies that represent the republic’s fair contribution to the global climate change response,” continued Mackay.

Meanwhile, Prof Hannes Rautenbach, Extraordinary Professor at the University of Pretoria, said the earth’s temperature had increased by 0.06°C every decade since 1850.

Addressing the 2024 SA Elite Studbook seminar in Bloemfontein on the topic of climate change, he pointed out that the rate of global warming since 1982 was three times as fast at 0.20°C.

“Last year was the warmest year since global recordings began in 1850. It was 1.18°C above the 20th century’s average of 1.13°C and 1.35°C warmer than the pre-industrial era between 1850 and 1900. Each month between June and December 2023 was the hottest on record. July, August, and September 2023 were all 1°C above the global long-term average,” explained Rautenbach.

“Modern economic activity has clearly exceeded many of the planetary boundary conditions and it is our collective responsibility to address that with urgency. The Bill supports the constitutional right to an environment that is not harmful to the health and well-being of the people, and to have the environment protected for the benefit of present and future generations,” added Mackay.

Read more about the Climate Change Bill

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Annelie Coleman represents Farmer’s Weekly in the Free State, North West and Northern Cape. Agriculture is in her blood. She grew up on a maize farm in the Wesselsbron district where her brother is still continuing with the family business. Annelie is passionate about the area she works in and calls it ‘God’s own country’. She’s particularly interested in beef cattle farming, especially with the indigenous African breeds. She’s an avid reader and owns a comprehensive collection of Africana covering hunting in colonial Africa, missionary history of same period, as well as Rhodesian literature.