Praise for South Africa’s climate policies

6 December 2011

The second GLOBE Climate Legislation Study, released at the UN Climate Change Conference (COP 17) in Durban on Monday, praises South Africa for setting an example by moving to introduce climate change legislation.

A high-level delegation, including UNFCCC Executive Secretary Christiana Figueres, UK Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change Chris Huhne, and GLOBE president Lord Deben, attended Monday’s launch.

Deben said South Africa was the most encouraging country in the world, and was once again taking a lead with comprehensive planned legislation to deal with climate change.

South Africa’s white paper on climate change presents a vision for an effective climate change response and long-term goals towards a lower-carbon economy and climate-resilient society. It includes a proposal to set emissions reduction outcomes for each significant sector in the economy.

The GLOBE Climate Legislation Study documents the national climate change policy of 17 major economies in the world, and this year there has been significant political movement in 10 of the countries, including South Africa.

The study shows that developing countries are much more proactive than their developed counterparts in introducing legislation that deals with climate change.

The United States and Canada are a few countries from the developed world that came under fire in the study for lack of action to develop climate change legislation.

Figueres said it was sad that the US was losing opportunities to be a leading force for a greener world economy. She said she hoped to see more progress from other countries when the study is next undertaken.

China is one example, and is expected to provide the motor of global economic growth in coming decades.

China has continued to publish more detailed policies and measures to deliver its carbon and energy-intensity targets.

The study said Mexico has been one of the most active developing countries in relation to conducting and updating the UNFCCC’s national inventories on greenhouse emissions.

The Australian government’s Clean Energy Act has a long-term target of reducing net greenhouse gas emissions to 80 percent below 2000 levels by 2050 by putting a price on carbon, initially through a fixed carbon tax (2012-2015) and through an emissions trading scheme.

Climate change legislation is one way of attracting sustainable investments and business opportunities, according to UK Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change Chris Huhne.

The study is also aimed at helping policy makers from other countries to draft legislation.

Source: BuaNews