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Draft Climate Change Bill on Track

March 16, 2020

Department of Environment, Forestry and Fisheries

The environment, forestry and fisheries department is currently finalising the Draft Climate Change Bill.

The environment, forestry and fisheries minister, Barbara Creecy, confirmed this in a speech during a debate in the national assembly on climate change.

A Draft Climate Change Bill was published for comment in February 2019.

The draft bill seeks to:

• build the Republic’s effective climate change response and the long term, just transition to a climate resilient and lower carbon economy and society in the context of an environmentally sustainable development framework; and
• provide for matters connected therewith.

The minister declared that the proposed legislation provides for “effective management approaches to the inevitable impacts of a changed climate and measures to mitigate greenhouse gas emissions”.

She added that all “provinces and municipalities have to undertake climate risk assessments and develop customised climate change response strategies which take local circumstances into account”.

According to the minister, provincial adaptation plans have been developed and all districts have been supported in developing climate change response plans.

The next step was for Provincial Executive Councils and municipal Councils to officially adopt the strategies to ensure political leadership in addressing climate change.

The minister also announced that “government is currently in discussion with the German government to leverage grant funding earmarked for land-based programmes to enhance the carbon sequestration potential of South Africa’s biomes”.

The idea is to enhance carbon sequestration in grasslands and savannahs via improved grazing management as well as restoration of indigenous forests.