Environment laws update of October 2016

South African environment law update 2016.
South African environment law update 2016.

This SA environment laws update of October 2016 includes aquaculture; assessment of mining environmental enforcement; conservation; and Waste Plans.

Paper, packaging, electrical and lighting industries must submit Waste Management Plans

The Minister of Environmental Affairs has published a notice to the Paper and Packaging; Electrical and Electronic Equipment; and Lighting Industries to prepare and submit Waste Management Plans for approval under sections 28(1) and 28(5) of the National Environmental Management: Waste Act, in Government Gazette 40207.

This initiative will contribute towards diverting recyclable waste from landfill sites. It follows the Waste Tyre Management Plan which diverts waste tyres away from landfill.

The Department of Environmental Affairs views these Plans as one of the co-regulatory mechanisms that will also award industry the opportunity to implement extended producer responsibility.

The Waste Information baseline study that the DEA conducted in 2011, revealed that approximately 108m tons of waste was generated, of which 97m tons were disposed to landfill. Only 10% of the generated waste in South Africa was recycled in 2011.

The Waste Management industry has potential to grow the country’s economy and create much needed jobs for the people of South Africa.

State to help fish farmers

The Department of Environmental Affairs (DEA) will conduct a Strategic Environmental Assessment (SEA) to facilitate sustainable aquaculture development with responsible and integrated decision-making, and identify suitable areas where aquaculture can be incentivised.

The SEA will cover all nine provinces and includes offshore and land-based aquaculture for both freshwater and salt water species.

Aquaculture is one of the priority focus areas of Operation Phakisa, the national government initiative geared towards unlocking the economic potential of South Africa’s oceans.

To contribute to the SEA process, register your interest as a participating stakeholder, and make an initial input by identifying issues which should be considered in the scope of the SEA.

As a registered interested party you will be informed of the availability of draft documents for comment.

The SEA is being conducted by the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) on behalf of DEA and the Department of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries (DAFF).

To register as a Stakeholder, fill out the online registration form on the SEA Project Website at http://aquasea.csir.co.za/stakeholder-portal/ or http://aquasea.csir.co.za/contact-us-2/  or email aquasea@csir.co.za or visit http://aquasea.csir.co.za

Mining environmental impacts are large-scale, requiring detailed governance measures.
Mining environmental impacts are large-scale, requiring detailed governance measures.

Presidency assesses mining environmental enforcement

A report on the Implementation Evaluation of the Effectiveness of Environmental Governance in the Mining Sector, was compiled for the Presidency’s Department of Planning, Monitoring and Evaluation, by the Department of Environmental Affairs, and Department of Mineral Resources, assisted by two consultants.

The evaluation assessed the relevance and effectiveness of implementation and enforcement of environmental governance legislation in mining.

The evaluation covers the period from the promulgation of the Minerals Act of 1991, to March 2014, and amendments of December 2014.

The Development Assistance Community (DAC) evaluation criteria were selected as the guiding framework for the evaluation.

Four case studies were used to demonstrate the effectiveness of the environmental governance framework:

[] Gauteng gold mining in the Witwatersrand and West and East Rand, and subsequent effects of Acid Mine Drainage (AMD) on the environment;

[] Northern Cape: effects of asbestos (crocidolite) mining and processing in Prieska;

[] Mpumalanga: environmental challenges associated with coal mining;

[] North West: platinum mining and the effect of high levels of sulphur dioxide and carbon dioxide emissions on the environment.

Mining environmental governance findings

The analysis of the findings of the evaluation are summarised by evaluation question according to the Terms of Reference:

  1. Is the current guideline used to determine the cost of rehabilitation of mining operations adequate and effective to ensure adequate rehabilitation and to protect the State from mining-related long term liability?

Based on a comprehensive review of the guideline, stakeholder interviews and experience working with the guideline, it is considered to be insufficient for calculating the costs of rehabilitation. The guideline is thought to be outdated, too generic, and do not include underground or surface water liabilities, which usually account for a large percentage of mines’ total liability. Most mines complete their own calculations based on different parameters and set aside additional funds to ensure that they have sufficient resources for rehabilitation and closure.

The DEA draft financial provision Regulations that were made public in the fourth quarter of 2014 do refer to an updated guideline for calculating the cost of financial provision for the rehabilitation and closure of mines. Since these Regulations have not yet been brought into force, the effectiveness of the implementation of this guideline cannot be assessed as part of this evaluation.

  1. Are there means or mechanisms for determining the most sustainable use of land, if so are they effective? If not, what mechanism can be proposed? Regulation 41(1)(d) of the MPRDA requires that a scoping report be drafted that identifies the alternative land uses for a proposed operation, in this case a proposed mining operation.

This does not call for the identification of the most sustainable land use but rather just the identification of alternative land uses. As such, the identified land use alternatives may not necessarily be the most sustainable.

Legislation that was the subject of this evaluation does not prescribe the means and mechanisms to determine the most sustainable use of land nor does it define with accuracy the concept of sustainable use of land. The evaluation of alternative land use options using only a socio-economic assessment will not necessarily provide the best assessment. This has not been addressed by the amended legislation that is detailed in the post-script to this evaluation.

  1. Are the current institutional mechanisms for environmental performance appropriate and effective in achieving and promoting good governance in the mining sector? If not, what changes can be made?

The institutional mechanisms used for environmental performance are the promulgated statutes and regulations relating to environmental management. The framework described in the regulations is appropriate for promoting good governance in the mining sector in theory; however, it is poorly enforced in practice.

Closure certificates are seldom issued – in 2013/2014 575 closure certificates were under review, of which only 159 were issued. This is primarily the result of the reluctance of the DMR to issue these certificates, the reluctance of mining companies to apply for closure, and the requirement that all affected departments must comment on the application before the certificate is issued.

Reluctance of the DMR to issue closure certificates is due to the transfer of the environmental liability from the mining company to the State.

If the DMR issues a closure certificate, it has no legislative power, nor financial means to remedy any issues that may arise on the site post-closure; similarly, the DMR has no authority to force the company to remedy said issue.

Mining companies are reluctant to apply for closure certificates because once these are issued, the company cannot re-mine the site in later years.

Before a closure certificate can be issued, all affected departments must comment on it which is often the cause of the delays in issuing the certificates.

Only 60.4% of operational mines in 2012/13 were operating with adequate financial provision. As a result of this, the State is likely to be left with legacy issues. Yet this guideline continues to be used nationally by mining companies to calculate the rehabilitation funds set aside for any impacts which may emanate post closure.

There are a number of challenges related to the implementation of the legislation: Poor quality EMPs are often approved by the competent authority as the authority lacks the capacity and technical expertise to assess the EMP appropriately.

Duplication and uncertainty has adverse implications for mining companies’ use of resources and their investment decisions. While it is anticipated that the Interdepartmental Project Implementation Committee (IPIC) will reduce the extent of this confusion and duplication, the full effect of this committee is yet to be determined.

  1. What is the effect of the promulgation of the Minerals Act, 1991 (Act No. 50 of 1991) and the Mineral and Petroleum Resources Development Act, 2002 (Act No. 28 of 2002) on the environmental performance of mining? Is there a measureable improvement on the environmental performance of mining as a result of these two pieces of legislation?

Since the promulgation of the new legislation, many changes have been noted in terms of the requirements stated in the Acts. With these measures, environmental governance of the mining industry has been significantly enhanced.

Without adequate enforcement, management and oversight the legislation loses its effectiveness, despite covering all the necessary components for ensuring environmental sustainability.

  1. To what extent are mining-related environmental liabilities covered by the state? Could these costs have been significantly reduced through efficient and effective environmental governance in the mining sector?

Most of the historical mines that were established and operated prior to the current environmental governance framework are no longer operational and cannot be held liable for environmental rehabilitation costs. These costs have therefore become the responsibility of the State.

  1. Is the anchoring of the implementation and enforcement of mining-related environmental governance within the DMR appropriate? If not, what would be the appropriate department?

A number of criteria are required for an effective competent authority:

  • Stable staff complement is required with a balance of technical skills and mining knowledge including all specialist fields;
  • Experienced environmental scientists and technical experts with specific mining experience are required;
  • Sufficient qualified staff to enforce the legislation and monitor compliance;
  • Staff need to have experience and exposure in the area they are working in;
  • Capacity and institutional knowledge needs to be developed;
  • The necessary office space, computers, systems and equipment for staff to work efficiently;
  • Efficient, credible and accountable systems that facilitate the effective implementation of the legislation;
  • Internal conflict resolution mechanisms;
  • Unbiased implementation of the legislation;
  • Correct understanding and interpretation of the legislation;
  • Authority and commitment to take criminal action for non-compliance;
  • Ability to get input from other departments and work together with other departments to reach consensus on decisions;
  • Ability to make informed decisions based on the application and supporting documentation, and to request additional information if required before making a decision;
  • Ability to provide mines with advice / guidance / training on how to improve their processes so as to go beyond compliance and apply best practice guidelines.

Currently, these criteria are not all met by any of the relevant government departments (DEA, DMR or DWS).

This is primarily as a result of internal issues within each department, of which the evaluation team does not have in-depth insight given the internal nature of the information.

Mining governance conclusions

Inadequate implementation and enforcement of the framework seriously compromises its efficacy and ability to ensure environmental sustainability.

Regulatory framework shortcomings:

  • Closure certificates are seldom issued;
  • Financialprovision guideline is insufficient;
  • Constant iterations and amendments to the framework have resulted in gaps and deletions, missing definitions and confusion in the industry;
  • The means by which to calculate the most sustainable use of land are poorly defined and implemented.

Implementation of the legislation:

  • The competent authority (DMR) lacks the capacity, technical and legal expertise to implement the framework appropriately;
  • There is limited retention of institutional knowledge in the competent authority;
  • Implementing the framework requires input and consultation from numerous departments.

There is impetus in the industry to improve the environmental governance framework and the implementation thereof.

Recommendations on mining environmental management

Based on the evaluation, recommendations have been provided to improve the effectiveness and implementation of the governance framework.

1.Guidelines for calculating the cost of financial provision for the rehabilitation and closure of mines should be updated. The guideline should include provision for water management and treatment so as to limit the State’s liability for this aspect. Furthermore, the guideline should take into account the different types and sizes of mines. The DEA draft financial provision regulations that were made public in the fourth quarter of 2014 do refer to an updated guideline for calculating the cost of financial provision for the rehabilitation and closure of mines. Since these Regulations have not yet been brought into force, the effectiveness of the implementation of this guideline cannot be assessed as part of this evaluation.

  1. When the new guideline is published, training should be provided to mines and consultants on its implementation.
  2. Where possible, concurrent rehabilitation should be encouraged or enforced. This will limit the mining-related liabilities for the State should the mine close unexpectedly. To do this, the DMR could consider allowing mines to reduce their financial provisions as and when their liabilities reduce due to concurrent rehabilitation. Monitoring of these adjustments will need to be carefully considered. Concurrent rehabilitation is included in the draft financial provision regulations that were released for public comment in the fourth quarter of 2014. At the time of writing, the period for public comment had expired.
  3. In terms of the determination of sustainable land use, the term ‘sustainability’ should be clearly defined, there should be a clear demarcation of responsibility between the mine and the authorities for conducting sustainability assessments and the method for undertaking these assessments should be defined. This has not been addressed in the amended legislation detailed in the post-script to this evaluation.
  4. Mining companies should be responsible for all foreseeable environmental impacts as approved in their EMP, as well as any unforeseen environmental impacts at the time of operation. The State should then be liable for all other unforeseen environmental impacts. As post- closure liabilities will therefore lie with the State, stricter enforcement needs to be placed on the issuing of closure certificates. To account for unforeseen latent effects, the State should set up a national fund that will cover any liabilities that may occur after closure. The proposed MPRDA Amendment Act, which has been approved by Parliament but not signed into law, will make companies liable for all environmental impacts in perpetuity. Concerns have been raised about the Constitutionality of this proposal.
  5. As the DMR is the competent authority henceforth, and another change to the regime will be too disruptive to the mining industry, it should develop the capacity, skills, technical expertise and systems necessary to meet the criteria required for an Evaluation of the Environmental Governance Framework in the Mining Sector 11 August 2015 DMR/DEA/DPME ix effective competent authority. In particular, it should employ more compliance officers with the necessary skills to monitor and enforce compliance with the framework.
  6. Communication channels within and between the different departments should be reviewed and improved so as to avoid delays and unnecessary duplications. The amended legislation as detailed in the post-script to this evaluation, which allows for the three acts related to environmental governance in mining to be read together, is an important step towards harmonisation of the framework. However, the effectiveness of its implementation cannot yet be assessed.
  7. The legislation, in particular NEMA, should provide definitions across environmental regulations to avoid any confusion regarding the regulatory requirements and standards. This includes clearly defining the term „sustainability‟. This has not been addressed by the amended legislation detailed in the post-script to this evaluation.
  8. The current online application system, the South African Mineral Resources Administration System (SAMRAD), which processes mining licence applications, should continue to be strengthened such that it is available 24 hours a day, is more user-friendly and links to the DEA’s existing systems. Improving the systems used by the departments will contribute to improved capacity within the departments and reduced fragmentation across the departments.
  9. The difficulty faced by the evaluation team in extracting quantitative data relevant to the evaluation further highlights the importance of the DMR moving to an automated internal reporting system that allows for current and historical data to be stored in a central database. Some of these recommendations are already being considered by the IPIC and the various task teams established as part of this initiative. However, as these initiatives are relatively new and their full effect is still to be determined, the challenges to the effectiveness of the environmental governance framework and the consequent recommendations presented above remain relevant to the findings of this evaluation. Evaluation of the Environmental Governance Framework in the Mining Sector 11 August 2015.

CITES COP 17 global conservation agreements

SA Environmental Affairs minister Dr Edna Molewa said in Sandton: “Our decision to host this Conference was informed by our intention to advance issues of sustainable use, community beneficiation, youth involvement, and fighting illegal trade.

“This was the first CITES COP to be held in Africa since 2000. It discussed issues facing the mainstream conservation movement.

“This Conference was a victory for science-based decision-making in the interests of species conservation.

“Proposals were considered based on the listing criteria, and sound scientific information.

“An example of this was reflected in the decision made relating to the proposed up-listing of African elephant populations of Botswana, Namibia, South Africa and Zimbabwe from Appendix II to Appendix I.

“These populations do not meet the criteria to be listed in Appendix I. It is important for the credibility of the Convention to ensure that the criteria are consistently applied across all the taxa.

“South Africa’s elephant population is still growing with a current population of more than 28 000 elephants. The populations of other SADC countries are also stable or increasing and therefore the criteria were not met.

“Another outcome was the adoption of resolutions that will improve the common interpretation of the Convention or the application of its provisions.

“Responsible conservation management goes together with sustainable use and beneficiation; and those that do well will be rewarded.

“We need to address the underlying causes of species loss, being habitat loss, poverty, human wildlife conflicts, lack of enforcement, governance and institutional challenges.

“We have agreed to measures and actions to be implemented to ensure legal international trade remains sustainable and illegal trade is eradicated.

“Parties have agreed to recognise that people need to benefit from the sustainable utilisation of its natural resources, including from legal international trade.

“South Africa’s proposals have been agreed to:

  • Cape Mountain Zebra downlisted from Appendix I to Appendix II;
  • listing the Wild ginger on Appendix II to enable South Africa to regulate international trade more effectively, and through CITES provisions;
  • uplisting Temminck’s ground pangolin from Appendix II to Appendix I; all 8 species of Pangolin have been uplisted.

“There was a proposal to uplist African Lion Populations from Appendix II to Appendix I. Most SADC countries including South Africa did not support this proposal.

“Negotiations on this issue led to an amended proposal that was adopted retaining all lion populations in Appendix II, but with a condition to restrict the trade in bone to captive breeding operations in South Africa – with national export quotas.

“The South African bone trade can continue, with government setting an annual quota.

“Regarding illegal trade in wildlife:

  • A Resolution on prohibiting, preventing, detecting and countering corruption;
  • A Resolution aimed at addressing cyber crime.

“Important Decisions that have been adopted include… A decision on cycads (document submitted by South Africa) to collaborate on matters relating to illegal trade in cycads.

“And decisions relating to rhino matters, including missions to Vietnam and Mozambique by the CITES Secretariat to assist them in terms of activities to be implemented.”

The decisions take effect three months after the conference, in January 2017.

Evaluation of the Environmental Governance Framework in the Mining Sector 11 August 2015 DMR/DEA/DPME i

SA Climate Change report

South Africa’s National Climate Change Response Policy (NCCRP) commits the Department of Environmental Affairs (DEA) to publish annual progress reports on monitoring climate change responses.

These documents represent the primary output of the Climate Change Monitoring and Evaluation (M&E) framework and the 2015 annual report is the first of these progress reports.

The report aims to target people and institutions involved in technical, coordination and policy aspects of climate change, including those undertaking work relevant to these aspects of climate change.

The annual report is seen as part of the broader programme to communicate regular reporting of climate change relevant information to the South African audience.

South Africa’s Climate Change Monitoring and Evaluation System includes:

  • Climate Change Monitoring and Evaluation System which presents the objectives of the monitoring and evaluation (M&E) system, its benefits and an overview of the system
  • National Climate Change Response M&E System
  • Agriculture, Forestry and Other Land Uses (AFOLU): Demystifying the Measurement, Reporting and Verification of this Specialised Sector
  • Greenhouse Gas inventory Improvement Programme (GHGIP).

As required by the National Climate Change Response Policy, and the National Development Plan 2030, South Africa has designed a National Climate Change M&E system composed of the National Greenhouse Gas Inventory system and the National Climate Change Response M&E system.

The main objectives of this Climate Change M&E system are to track South Africa’s transition to a climate resilient society, by tracking the country’s transition to a lower carbon economy and by tracking climate finance.

The benefits of the system include providing an evidence base for the impacts and the vulnerabilities brought about by climate change, providing learning for what has worked and what has not worked in climate change response, informing future responses to climate change, assessing the impact and need for climate finance as well as institutionalising the compilation of the national communications and the biennial update reports under the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC).

Climate Change Trends, Risks, Impacts and Vulnerabilities

Observed Trends in the Climate of South Africa, which analyses observed temperature and rainfall trends over the past few decades and drivers of variability of South Africa’s climate.

Climate Change Risks, Impacts and Vulnerabilities in South Africa, emphasising climate change as a stress multiplier.

Climate Change Trends, Risks, Impacts and Vulnerabilities

South Africa’s economy and its people face appreciable risks due to the potential impacts from ongoing climate change.

Model projections suggest significant warming and rainfall change for South Africa over the next several decades, even under strong international mitigation scenarios.

Temperature trends consistent with anthropogenic warming continue to be seen across South Africa, with the strongest trends in the west and east, but less so in the central interior.

There is no evidence to suggest a slowing of anthropogenic climate change trends in South Africa since 2000.

While average rainfall trends are ambiguous, there is mounting evidence that South Africa is likely to experience longer dry spells, fewer rain days and more intense rainfall events.

South Africa’s transition to a Lower Carbon Economy includes:

  • National Level Indicators, including sustainable carbon levels and comparisons with various trajectories, indicators of lower carbon consumption and productivity and lower carbon resourcing;
  • Key National and Industrial Mitigation Response Measures, looking at the mitigation impact of these measures and their impact on other sustainable development indicators;
  • Low Carbon Development in Provinces and Cities, assessing actions taken by provincial governments, metros and secondary cities, followed by a wide-ranging;

Appendix on Response Measures by individuals, groups and sectors in energy efficiency, electricity generation and transportation, as well as a review of Clean Development Mechanism projects and the Extended Public Works Programme (EPWP).

While there is an overarching challenge of data availability and / or data quality in tracking South African’s transition to a lower carbon economy, a number of key conclusions can clearly be drawn from this theme.

In 2010, South Africa’s greenhouse gas emissions were within the national goal of the Peak, Plateau and Decline trajectory.

The implied “carbon budget” between the country’s 2010 emissions level of 518 MtCO2e and the maximum emissions level of 614 MtCO2e presented in the country’s Intended Nationally Determined Contributions under the UNFCCC in 2025 is about 96 MtCO2e.

There are many programmes and projects with mitigation impacts that are being implemented in the country, with the bulk of these being energy efficiency programmes and projects.

By 2014, a cumulative total of 611.5 MtCO2e had been mitigated through a number of major national level and industry programmes, with about 76 MtCO2e having been reduced in 2014 alone.

At least 40 000 jobs created by 2014 can be termed green jobs, having been created by programmes that have significant climate change mitigation impact.

Desired Adaptation Outcomes

Desired Adaptation Outcomes (DAOs) for Monitoring and Evaluating Climate Resilience, sets out to inform and focus M&E of South Africa’s progress towards a climate resilient society, with the Desired Adaptation Outcomes (DAOs) developed from sector specific adaptation priorities.

Currently the sectors are biodiversity, water, health, human settlements and disaster management.

The DAOs describe a desired dynamic state that will enable South Africa to be resilient to climate change. The DEA is in the process of finalising these desired outcomes with a view to monitoring the country’s progress towards achieving them. During the 2016 -2017 year the work on DAOs will focus on three main activities, namely:

Further consultations with other key stakeholders with a view to broadening the buy-in and acceptance of the DAOs.

Identifying the information needed to understand each of the DAOs.

Identifying the information sources and understanding the availability and accessibility of the information required to understand each of the DAOs.

Climate finance sources

Domestic Public Climate Finance to support the transition towards a lower carbon economy, and national public funding mechanisms to support the transition to a climate resilient society and economy as well as outlining challenges, gaps and key success factors on funding climate resilience.

There are some international finance mechanisms related to climate resilience as well as on bilateral finance, and private finance and civil society finance.

South Africa defines climate finance as all resources that finance the cost of the country’s transition to a lower carbon and climate resilient economy and society.

There are a number of financial tools that government has been using to fund the country’s transition to a lower carbon and climate resilient economy and society. While most of them have an indirect impact on climate change adaptation and mitigation, there are a number of quantifiable grants that have a direct climate change mitigation impact.

The main public climate finance grants that have a direct climate change impact include the Municipal Energy Efficiency and Demand Side Management (EEDSM) grants, the Expanded Public Works Programme (EPWP) grants, the Eskom Integrated Demand Management (IDM) grants, the Department of Environmental Affairs’ Green Fund and funding for carbon capture and sequestration. Government has disbursed over R21 billion through these grants from 2009/10 to 2013/14.

Climate Change Adaptation Governance and Management

The Legislative Framework includes the Disaster Management Amendment Bill of 2015; Spatial Planning and Land Use Management Act; National Environmental Management Act; National Water Act; National Housing Code Technical and General Guidelines (Part 3).

A considerable amount of work has been undertaken in spheres of government to create an enabling environment for climate change governance and management.

Most national sector departments prioritised in the NCCRP have developed climate change / adaptation plans and strategies; however, only a few sectors prioritised in the Policy have mainstreamed climate change into other policies and plans.

There are other sectors which were not prioritised in the NCCRP which have developed climate change plans / strategies and which have mainstreamed climate change into other policies, plans and strategies.

All provinces have developed climate change / adaptation strategies and plans.

Near-term Priority Climate Change Flagship Programmes

The flagship programmes contribute significantly to making South Africa’s climate action development and implementation process predictable, continuous and optimised by establishing a pipeline of investment-grade climate change response programmes and projects. The programmes provide the necessary infrastructure to enable climate action at scale.

South Africa already has a well-developed base for mitigating climate change and building climate resilience in the Near-term Priority Flagship Programmes which are strategic, large-scale measures of national significance. They are the game-changers in South Africa’s climate change response landscape and represent the low-hanging fruits that can potentially catalyse South Africa’s long-term climate action.

These climate change Flagship Programmes include both the scaling-up of existing climate change initiatives and new initiatives that are ready to come on stream by 2020.

The eight Near-term Priority Flagship Programmes are currently made up of 39 distinct components that can be regarded as sub-programmes, each of which can be dis-aggregated further into distinct measures. Many components of the Flagship Programmes have been implemented with notable success and signify remarkably bold steps towards a low carbon and climate resilient economy and society.

The NCCRP gives effect to the Flagship Programmes and recognises them as an integral part of South Africa’s climate change response policy.

Key Outcomes of COP 21

Marking the culmination of a four-year negotiating round that started at the 17th Conference of the Parties (COP) to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) in Durban in 2011, the Paris Outcome of the 21st COP is made up of three main elements:

Paris Agreement: An enduring, legally binding treaty on climate action starting in 2020, the Paris Agreement will enter into force once 55 countries covering 55% of global emissions have acceded to it.

COP Decision: This is a set of decisions that the COP agreed to prepare for implementing the Paris Agreement once it enters into force.

Paris Action Agenda: These are additional commitments, which were taken at COP 21 parallel to the formal agreements, by countries, regions, cities, investors and companies for additional climate action.

The Paris Agreement is a political landmark. It is a remarkable turning point for climate action, sending clear signals that a low-carbon and climate resilient world is inevitable.

The Paris Agreement’s three fundamental aims are to: hold the increase in global average temperature to well below 2 °C above pre-industrial levels, and pursue efforts to limit it to 1.5 °C increase the ability to adapt to climate change impacts, and foster climate resilience and low greenhouse-gas emissions development, without threatening food production establish means of finance to achieve these goals.

The Agreement’s long-term mitigation goal to achieve a balance between anthropogenic emissions by sources and removals by sinks of greenhouse gas emissions in the second half of the century is buttressed by the Agreement’s objective of “making finance flows consistent” with low-carbon and climate resilient development.

UN Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon told the assembled delegates: “What was once unthinkable is now unstoppable. The question is, at what pace?”

South Africa’s National Climate Change Response M&E system, and its associated Annual Climate Change Report, presents an opportunity for owners and implementers of climate related programmes to not only showcase their work, but also to learn from the lessons generated by others in the past.

  • Sources; Department of Environmental Affairs. Government Gazette. PMG.
  • South African health and safety law updates are posted separately on Sheqafrica.com
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