Intergovernmental Committee on Climate Change - Workshop

Event date: 
2013-06-20 01:00 to 2013-06-21 01:00
Introduction and background
National Climate Change Response Policy

Introduction and background

Climate Change response

 Climate Action Now! Save the Future 

Government recognised that climate change was real and that it was a significant threat to our development many years ago and this was formally acknowledged during the National Climate Change Conference in 2005.

South Africa has finalised a Climate Change Response policy that will outline the country’s leadership in response to climate change.

This will map a socio-economic transition to a climate; resilient and low-carbon economy and society. This transition will involve a balance between our efforts to reduce greenhouse gases (mitigation) and our efforts to build our resilience to the impacts of climate change (adaption).

In the long-term, we will redefine our competitive advantage and structurally transform the economy by shifting from energy intensive to a climate-friendly path as part of a pro-growth, predevelopment and pro-jobs strategy.


National Climate Change Response Policy (NCCRP)

The National Climate Change Response Policy (NCCRP) was adopted by Cabinet towards the end of 2011. It represents South Africa’s vision for an effective climate change response, and the long-term just transition to a climate resilient and lower carbon economy and society.

Its overarching objectives are:

  • To effectively manage inevitable climate change impacts through interventions that build and sustain South Africa’s social, economic and environmental resilience and emergency response capacity; and
  • To make a fair contribution to the global effort to stabilise greenhouse gas concentrations at a level that avoids dangerous anthropogenic interference with the climate system within a timeframe that enables economic, social and environmental development to proceed in a sustainable manner.

The Policy provides a strategic framework for promoting climate resilient development, mitigation, adaptation or a combination thereof, that contributes to a fair and effective global solution to the climate change challenge while simultaneously building and maintaining South Africa’s international competitiveness, its social, environmental and economic resilience to the adverse effects of global climate change, and any unintended consequences of global climate change response measures. In this regard, the policy develops a “win-win” strategic approach that is:

  • Needs-driven and customised - Employing a wide range of different types of adaptation and mitigation approaches, policies, measures, programmes, interventions and actions that meet the special needs and circumstances of those most vulnerable;
  • Developmental - Prioritising climate change responses that have both significant mitigation and adaptation benefits and that also have significant economic growth, job creation, public health, risk management and poverty alleviation benefits;
  • Transformational, empowering and participatory - Implementing policies and measures to address climate change at a “scale of economy” that enables and supports the required level of innovation, sector and skills development, finance and investment flows needed to reap the full benefit of a transition to a lower-carbon, efficient, job-creating, equitable and competitive economy.
  • Balanced and cost effective - Implementing a balanced approach to both climate change mitigation and adaptation responses in terms of cost-benefit, prioritisation, focus, action and resource allocation.
  • Integrated and aligned - Providing for the integration of sector-related climate change responses into the relevant sector planning processes and their developmental policies and measures, and integrating cross-sectoral measures in the relevant National, Provincial and/or Local planning regime.
  • Dynamic and evidence-based - Recognising that this policy has not been developed in a vacuum and many sectors have already researched and have experience in implementing policies and measures to address the challenges of climate change, this policy takes an approach of:
    • Immediate implementation of Near-term Priority Flagship Programmes that build on existing successful policies and measures that can be scaled-up, while
    • Simultaneously, further researching and developing the detail of additional policies and measures for implementation in the short-, medium- and longer-term, as and when ready; and
    • Rigorously monitoring and evaluating the effectiveness of implemented policies and measures with a view to improving efficiency through adjustments or discarding those that are ineffective.


In the last 18 months, since Cabinet adopted the NCCRP, significant progress has been made in implementation:

  • A process of developing long-term adaptation scenarios is underway, to inform adaptation planning and implementation. This process will project and evaluate the socio-economic and environmental implications of the potential impacts of anticipated climate change and climate variability, for key sectors (eg. water, agriculture, biodiversity, health, forestry and fisheries, and human settlements), based on a set of consensus climate scenarios for South Africa.
  • A mitigation potential analysis is underway, in consultation with all key government departments and stakeholders, to review current and future emission trends of key sectors, and analyse mitigation options. The ultimate objective of this work is to define the desired emission reduction outcomes, for key economic sectors and sub-sectors.
  • The design of the draft M&E system for climate change responses is underway, in consultation with all key government departments and stakeholders, with the view to provide to complete this work toward the end of this year.
  • Work on Near-term Priority Flagship Programme is going on through building partnerships with on-going programmes that address both mitigation and adaptation aspects. The purpose is to scale up existing climate change initiatives and also support new initiatives that are ready for implementation.

This work builds on and complements the climate change response projects and programmes that are underway across all spheres and tiers of government. The key challenge is to ensure that South Africa is building a coherent and collective response. The work of the Department of Environmental Affairs, in leading the implementation of the NCCRP, seeks to bring together the multiple mitigation and adaptation programmes, and ensure that they are contributing to a single set of emission reduction outcomes, are informed by a consensus set of climate change scenarios, with outcomes that can be monitored and reported.

Policy implementation is informed by an extensive process of consultation with all key government departments, through the Intergovernmental Committee on Climate Change, and with other stakeholders, through the National Committee on Climate Change.

The workshop provided an opportunity for information-sharing with a broader range of stakeholders. It was also an opportunity to engage with the climate change programmes that are being implemented at the provincial and local levels.

Presentations that were presented during the workshop held on 20 - 21 June 2013 in Benoni, Gauteng.