Will DEA listen to civil society?

A draft of South Africa’s INDC has been published and stakeholder consultations have been held across the country. Kate, Iain and Elin from the ACRP team participated in two  such stakeholder consultations in the Gauteng province on 26 and 28 August 2015. One workshop was for Civil Society Organisations (CSOs) and other one was open to the public.

The main concerns from the CSOs were that the INDC contained few additional commitments to the constitutional pledge made by President Jacob Zuma at COP 15, which put South Africa at the forefront of the international climate change negotiations.

The Peak Plateau and Decline (PPD) emissions trajectory received criticism from CSOs as it’s believed that South Africa’s carbon emissions need to peak sooner and we cannot afford to plateau for a decade before declining. We need to peak our emissions sooner and then start declining right away. Therefore the PPD is no longer relevant.

Furthermore, adding a target of 40% renewable energy by 2030 to reduce carbon emissions has been put forward by ACRP with the support of 53 businesses and NGOs. Among them are Greenpeace Africa, Project 90 by 2030, and People’s Weather channel.

To sum up, South Africa’s pledge in Copenhagen made South Africa a global leader in international climate change negotiations. If South Africa hopes to remain a global leader, its INDC must include stronger commitments to stemming the tide of climate change.

For more opinions on South Africa’s INDC see these comments from the WWF and Richard Worthington which we have published on our website: http://climatereality.co.za/comment-by-wwf-is-south-africa-fudging-its-figures/  

http://climatereality.co.za/%EF%BB%BFsa-should-not-shirk-responsibility-to-lead-by-example

 

During the two stakeholder consultations Department of Environmental Affairs (DEA) told us they are taking our comments into consideration, however, they said it is difficult to prioritize one thing over another and that the environment is just one of many different priorities that the government needs to consider. The DEA also asked civil society to try and be present at the COP21 as activism in Paris is more important than ever. And there are other stakeholders’ opinions than CSOs to take into consideration, businesses for example. However, during the public consultation, businesses were very quiet .

 

Find the draft of South Africa’s INDC here: https://www.environment.gov.za/event/deptactivity/cop21_indc_stakeholderconsultations

 

DEA has opened up for written comments until the 15th of September. We encourage all Climate Leaders to submit your comments to: Irene Koenze at ikoenze@environment.gov.za

 

If you are in Cape Town you have the chance to participate in the public hearing on climate change in Parliament on the 22-23 September 2015. For more information contact: climate@trees.org.za

 

Will they listen? We will see when the INDC has been submitted to the UNFCCC. Deadline for submission is 1st of October.

 

Did you go to a stakeholder consultation? What was your experience and what was discussed? Please share your story with climate@trees.org.za