Consultation on enhanced Nationally Determined Contribution of South Africa (SA-NDC) to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC)

Event date: 
2021-04-01 00:15 to 2021-04-30 23:00


introduction -the beginning
Introduction / background
Objectives and expected outputs
Target audience
Discussion documents
Programme schedule
Related links


Background and rationale to updating SA-NDC


The adoption of the Paris Agreement (PA) in 2015, at the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) COP21, provides the overarching global goal and framework for international climate action in the post-2020 period. The main aim of the PA is to strengthen the global response to the threat of climate change by keeping a global temperature rise this century well below 2 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels and to pursue efforts to limit the temperature increase even further to 1.5 degrees Celsius (article 2(a) of the Paris Agreement).

South Africa submitted its first NDC in accordance with decision 1/CP.19 and 1/CP.20 on 1 November 2016.The NDC covers adaptation, mitigation as well as finance and investment requirements and is based on equity. It has been developed on the understanding that the PA is binding, fair, effective and incorporates a “no-backsliding” and a “progressive approach” to enhance climate change mitigation and adaptation implementation within the context of sustainable development that considers a just transition. As a country, South Africa is committed to addressing climate change based on science, equity and sustainable development.

According to article 4, paragraph 11 of the Paris Agreement: “A party may at any time adjust its existing nationally determined contribution with a view to enhancing its level of ambition, in accordance with guidance adopted by the Conference of the Parties serving as the meeting of the parties to this agreement”. In communicating nationally determined contributions, all Parties shall also provide the information necessary for clarity, transparency and understanding in accordance with decision 1/CP.21 (Article 4.8 and UNFCCC Decision 4/CMA.1 – Document FCCC/PA/CMA/2018/3/Add.1).

South Africa pro-actively submitted to the UNFCCC an NDC that expresses a level of flexibility that the NDC may be reviewed and adjusted overtime on the basis of science, this is to be balanced within the context of sustainable development. This was later concretized through the special report on a global warming of 1.5oC (SR1.5) in 2019 by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) which highlights that we have already reached a global mean surface temperature of 1oC. It further shows that if emissions remain at the current rate that we will reach and overshoot 1.5oC in 2030-2052. Therefore, in order to show South Africa’s ambition and commitment in contributing towards achieving the global goal outlined in article 2(a) of the Paris Agreement, we have decided to adjust our first round NDC.

In light of this, DEFF, in partnership with national and provincial environmental partners, will update the adaptation, mitigation, finance, and investment requirements components of the current NDC before the submission of the NDC before COP 26.


The objectives of the consultation programme and expected outputs:



The objectives of the stakeholder consultation programme is to:

  • to present the initial draft of the enhanced/updated NDC to stakeholders
  • solicit inputs on enhanced SA-NDC to the global climate efforts prior to communicating to the UNFCCC Secretariat before COP 26;
  • gather inputs towards the development of the COP 26 position;
  • showcase South Africa’s climate change response efforts at local, provincial and national levels;
  • raise  public awareness around climate change and climate change response efforts;
  • provide information and an update on status of International negotiations in the UNFCCC.


Expected outputs:

  • The main output is consolidated inputs from stakeholders on South Africa’s nationally determined contribution, other may follow as co-benefits.
  • A common understanding of South Africa’s position for the  climate change negotiations;
  • Deepened awareness of climate change challenges and responses within South Africa’s development context.
  • Broader understanding and awareness of climate change response efforts and programmes at local, provincial and national level.


Target audience and anticipated impact


The consultations are expected to attract the participation of a variety of interested and affected stakeholders from government, industry, business, labour, non-governmental organisations (CNOs), community based organisations (CNOs), etc. Consultations will provide stakeholders an opportunity to engage with the minister and the negotiators and provide their inputs on the climate change negotiations while assisting government in filling up the gaps that might exist on South Africa’s approach to Paris negotiations. It will also provides an opportunity to stakeholders to engage on the work done on enhancing/ updating NDCs, and provide their inputs on what they think should be put forward as South Africa’s contribution. It will further enhance the culture of a sustainable national dialogue and provides a platform for all stakeholders that have an interest in climate change negotiations.


Discussion documents



Please submit written comments to from 1 April to 30 April 2021


Programme schedule: NDC and stakeholder consultation timeframes


The department had previously lead a consultation process prior to submitting the current NDC which consultation was conducted directly across provinces to multi-stakeholder audience(s). Interest groups also had an opportunity to make written representations on their inputs towards the NDC, which option also remain feasible. The current context is the one which provides restrictions to social distancing due to COVID-19. The consequence of that is an adjustment in approach to consultations which necessitates that there be virtual consultations, then followed by the direct interface at a later stage.

Consultations will consist of a number of sub-programmes which will take place from April/May 2021, these include:

  • Virtual consultation with other government departments through the Inter-governmental Committee on Climate Change (IGCC).
  • Virtual consultation with broader stakeholders through the National Committee on Climate Change (NCCC).
  • Targeted virtual consultations with interest groups representative formations sector organizations (energy, transport, Industry, agriculture), business, labor, civil society etc.
  • Direct consultations with provinces - nine (9) multi-stakeholder workshops.
  • Following integration of inputs from stakeholders, take the (enhanced) NDC through the government cluster system to Cabinet.
  • Submission to the UNFCCC before COP 26.


    Stakeholders consultations already convened

    • 11 May - Mpumalanga NDC stakeholder consultation
    • 28 April - Business Unity South Africa (BUSA) NDC stakeholder consultation, from 09H00 - 12H00
    • 29 April - Youth NDC stakeholder consultation
    • 17 May- Limpopo, Polokwane (Led by MEC)
    • 19 May- Eastern Cape: PE (Led by MEC)
    • 20 May - KwaZulu-Natal (KZN): Durban (Led by MEC)
    • 21 May- North West
    • 25 May- Western Cape
    • 26 May- Northern Cape
    • 27 May- Gauteng
    • 28 May- Free State
    • 26 May - Northern Cape NDC stakeholder consultation