South Africa's carbon footprint is way above the world average - a reflection both on the country's heavy reliance on coal and on our high level of energy inefficiency.
If the county were to meet the commitment made by cabinet to have greenhouse gas emissions peak and start to decline between 2020 and 2025, it needed to support legally-binding measures to do so, to put a price on carbon and to grow the local technology in renewable energy.
This was technically possible, without compromising development.
"But the challenge will be to mobilise the finances and the political will within the regulatory framework to do this," said Richard Worthington, climate change programme manager for the South African branch of the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF).
Worthington, speaking at the release of WWF International's Living Planet Report this week, said if South Africa carried on "business as usual", the country's carbon emissions would increase fourfold by 2050.