SA needs greater investment to combat climate change, says Ramaphosa
Durban – President Cyril Ramaphosa said on Monday the country needed greater investment into its climate resilient systems and processes.
This after Ramaphosa, together with 40 other world leaders, joined a climate summit convened by United States President Joe Biden to discuss efforts towards global climate change.
The meeting was a build up to the next international climate conference, which will be held in Glasgow, Scotland in November
“A number of South African companies are already addressing sustainability and climate change issues as part of their financial reporting. Business can also play a role in providing adaptation support to communities,” Ramaphosa said in a statement.
“We need greater investment in climate resilient systems and processes, from smart agriculture, to clean energy, to green infrastructure to public transport. The financial sector must continue to play a role by scaling up project financing for renewable energy and other green initiatives.”
Although the use of renewable energy sources sounded like a step in the right direction, Ramaphosa said because South Africa was still a developing country, it was still reliant on fossil fuels.
He said that switching to renewable and greener energy sources should happen “at a realistic pace”.
Ramaphosa said that an important part of South Africa’s plan to combat climate change is the Nationally Determined Contribution (NDC), which outlines targets for reducing the country’s greenhouse gas emissions.
Ramaphosa said that South Africa’s newly submitted mitigation strategy aims to see its carbon emissions progressively declining from 2025,which is a decade earlier than previously expected.
“Climate change doesn’t just affect weather patterns. It affects nearly every aspect of our lives, from the food we eat, to the water we drink, to where we live. It affects human health, economic activity, human settlement and migration,” Ramaphosa said.
“As a country we are committed to contributing our fair share to the global climate effort. One of the tasks of the newly established Presidential Climate Change Coordinating Commission is to advise the government on an ambitious and just transition to a low-carbon economy.”
According to a report published in 2019, titled: The Truth about South African Banks’ and Companies’ Ability to Identify and Address Climate Risks, South Africa’s SOEs lead the way with greenhouse gas emissions.
Eskom was at the top of the list with 39 percent of South Africa’s GHG emissions.
Sasol was in the second place with 13.5 percent, and according to the report, emits more than every car, truck, bus, train, and plane in South Africa combined.
African News Agency (ANA)