Western Cape calls for comment on it revised Climate Change Response Strategy
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Cape Town - With COP26 under way this week, the Western Cape government, through the Department of Environmental Affairs and Development Planning (DEA and DP), announced it was revising its Climate Change Response Strategy through the public participation process and called on businesses, youth and civil society to include their inputs.
Department spokesperson Rudolf van Jaarsveldt said the current response strategy dated back to 2014, and although the revised strategy was built on its predecessor, it responded to the growing urgency for both mitigation (reducing greenhouse gas emissions) and adaptation (increasing capacity to handle the impacts).
Local Government MEC Anton Bredell said: “In responding to the unfolding climate emergency, the Western Cape must help with the climate fight by driving the just transition to a low-carbon and climate-resilient economy.
“This will be achieved by protecting and investing in our natural capital and rapidly accelerating the green growth trajectory.”
Bredell said they aspired to be a net-zero emissions province by 2050 with a more resilient economy and society that would thrive despite the shocks and stresses posed by climate change.
Premier Alan Winde called on all relevant non-governmental organisations, research institutions, civil society organisations, and private sector stakeholders, including youth and gender-focused groups to provide their input into the first draft conceptual strategy.
The chief executive and founder of AfriOceans, Lesley Rochat, said because climate change was widespread, escalating rapidly and intensifying, it was necessary to revisit, adjust and update strategies on a regular basis for any hope of managing and mitigating its looming catastrophic effects.
“More urgent and effective actions in the immediate term are absolutely vital if we are to avoid devastating disruptions to society and to biodiversity as a result of greenhouse gas emissions,” said Extinction Rebellion Cape Town (XR CT) member Chris Engelbrecht.
Engelbrecht said the interventions proposed in the revised strategy were projected along a timeline that was simply too slow.
Van Jaasrveldt said the intention was to have the strategy reflect as many voices and perspectives in the Western Cape as possible, which could be e-mailed to [email protected], while the strategy could be found on their website for public inputs - www.westerncape.gov.za/eadp