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Republic of South Africa

South Africa’s response to the outcomes of the Dubai Climate Change Conference CoP28

13 December 2023

South Africa welcomes the landmark decision to adopt a Global Goal on Adaptation here at the CoP 28 at the Dubai Climate Change conference. This is something our country together with the African continent and other vulnerable nations have struggled to achieve for many years.

“The decision recognises different theme areas for adaptation action, it has measurable targets that are time bound. It also recognises the importance of securing adequate public finance for adaptation from developed countries. This is a big step forward,” said Minister of Forestry, Fisheries and the Environment, Ms Barbara Creecy.

In this context South Africa welcomes the language in the Global Stocktake which recognises and underscores that the impacts of climate change will be much lower at the temperature increase of 1.5 degrees compared with 2 degrees.

“Throughout our facilitation of the Global Stocktake, South Africa emphasised that climate ambition must be balanced across mitigation, adaptation and means of implementation. We also emphasised that equity and common but differentiated responsibilities and respective capabilities should underpin all asks on developing countries”. the Minister added.

Accordingly, South Africa welcomes the decisions on the operationalisation of the Loss and Damage Fund, Just Transition Pathways work programme, the Mitigation Work Programme and the Global Goal on Adaptation.

“These decisions are in line with our national framework on Just Transition, in particular the recognition of a country’s right to pursue its climate resilience path in the context of sustainable development and poverty eradication. 

For the first time we have language which calls for transitioning away from fossil fuels in energy systems in a just, orderly and equitable manner so as to achieve net zero by 2050 in keeping with the science”. Said the Minister.

COP28 has adopted a decision, co-facilitated by South Africa, to implement the new work programme on just transition pathways.

The decision underscores the importance of finance, technology development and transfer and capacity building support to achieve just and equitable transitions, nationally and globally.

This all-of-society and all-of-economy transition approach represents a progression and evolution in the international community’s collective understanding of just transitions, that in the past tended to focus narrowly on only the energy sector and related workforce issues.

South Africa particularly welcomes the strong human rights, inclusive and participatory approach in the decision to nationally defined just transitions, in which all stakeholders have a role to play and the right to development is respected. This is fundamental to the achievement of climate justice, at both the national and international level.

We are also pleased to see that the final text takes a stand against unilateral measures (such as Carbon Border Adjustment Mechanism - CBAM). The decision emphasises that “unilateral measures should not constitute a means of arbitrary or unjustifiable discrimination or a disguised restriction on international trade”.

Instead, the decision calls for greater cooperation and support aimed at achieving sustainable economic growth and development in all countries, thus enabling them to better address the problem of climate change.

The decisions lay out a clear process to move forward current discussions on the new finance goal for the post 2025 era.  It mandates that the new goal should aim at achieving parity between mitigation and adaptation finance.

The decision underscores the importance of reforming the multilateral financial architecture. It also calls for scaled up support for climate action from multilateral financial institutions through grant-based and concessional instruments.

For media enquiries contact: 
Peter Mbelengwa
Cell: 082 611 8197


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