20 October 2005
An agency that will coordinate South Africa’s efforts to combat climate change was launched at the National Climate Change Conference in Midrand, Johannesburg this week.
Minerals and Energy Minister Lindiwe Hendricks told the conference that the move was in line with the Kyoto Protocol, which requires developing countries to establish a designated national authority (DNA) to participate in clean development mechanism (CDM) activities in promoting sustainable development.
The CDM is a mechanism established to combat climate change and promote sustainable development, and in the process assist developing countries to meet their sustainable development objectives.
South Africa’s new agency will regulate CDM activities in SA, promoting the country to attract investors and project developers.
Already, it has received four project design documents from the private sector, one of them being for the Kuyasa Low-Cost Housing Project in Khayelitsha, Cape Town, which is registered as the first CDM project in Africa.
These projects, if implemented, will help reduce South Africa’s emissions by 21 million tons by 2012 and generate an estimated R618-million from the sale of certified emissions.
Hendricks said the effects of climate change on the country’s biodiversity was significant and that regions most affected by prolonged drought cycles would be more vulnerable in coming years.
“We run the risk that our grandchildren and great-grandchildren may not be able to enjoy the visual splendor of the fynbos of the Western Cape or the daisies of Namaqualand,” she said.
Hendricks said the country’s energy efficiency strategy set out a national target of 12% improvement in energy efficiency by 2014, which would contribute towards a reduction in carbon emissions.
The minister said South Africa also needed to look “keenly” at nuclear energy as a means of reducing carbon emissions and meeting the needs of a growing economy.