WASHINGTON (September 27, 2021)—Today South Africa released its latest national climate commitment under the Paris Agreement. The country intends to limit GHG emissions to 398-510 MtCO2e by 2025, and to 350-420 MtCO2e by 2030, significantly lower than targets communicated in 2016. These new targets will also see South Africa’s emissions decline in absolute terms from 2025, a decade earlier than planned.
Following is a statement from Helen Mountford, Vice President for Climate & Economics, World Resources Institute:
“South Africa’s new climate commitment is much more ambitious than what the country put forward five years ago when the Paris Agreement was struck. South Africa’s plan and updated 2030 emissions reduction target shifts the country’s commitments closer to what is needed globally for us to limit warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius, according to criteria used by Climate Action Tracker. The new target will see GHG emissions in the range of 350-420 MtCO2e by 2030, aligning with recommendations from the Presidential Climate Commission, affirming the value of the technical work and public engagement done by the new independent statutory body when considering the draft updated NDC earlier this year. This demonstrates important and very welcome leadership from President Ramaphosa and South Africa on the road to COP26 in November.
“It is also encouraging that South Africa again underscores its commitment to moving towards a goal of reaching net-zero carbon dioxide emissions by 2050, setting the stage for the country to heavily invest in clean power while accelerating a transition away from coal. South Africa’s plan places a much-needed emphasis on ensuring that everyone benefits in a shift to a more sustainable economy, especially the poorest and most vulnerable communities, while also ensuring a just transition for workers.
“This national climate plan also emphasizes the importance of strengthening South Africa’s resilience to climate impacts. Such adaptation investments are essential to help citizens better cope with increasingly severe droughts and other extreme weather events that have plagued the country in recent years. Developed countries have a responsibility to assist South Africa and other developing countries to both build resilience to climate impacts and accelerate greater uptake of clean sources of energy.”