On 18 September the British High Commission in South Africa and the South African National Planning Commission co-hosted the local launch of the Global Commission for the Economy and Climate New Climate Economy Report. The British High Commissioner, Judith Macgregor, highlighted the connection between the report and a legal deal on climate change in 2015. The UK was one of seven countries that commissioned the report along with Colombia, Ethiopia, Indonesia, Norway, Republic of Korea and Sweden.
Minister in the Presidency for Monitoring and Evaluation, Jeff Radebe, underlined the links between the New Climate Economy report’s findings and South Africa’s National Development Plan. Trevor Manuel, as a Global Commissioner for the Economy and Climate, emphasised the need to reframe the debate about climate change while also offering practical lessons from a diverse range of countries. He illustrated opportunities for the transformation needed to make the New Climate Economy a reality. Mr Manuel said the timing of the report’s launch ahead of the UN Secretary General’s Climate Summit on 23 September helps to build the urgency for domestic action and to support a successful UN framework for climate change conference of the parties in Paris in 2015.
A workshop session followed, where local experts connected the reports energy and cities findings to the South African context. South Africa’s plans for a carbon tax on emissions in 2016 would address carbon pricing recommendations. Other issues covered in the report that are important in South Africa as urban sprawl, air quality and transport. Energy opportunities from falling price of renewable energy were highlighted against the climbing costs of coal and nuclear projects. The Department of Environmental Affairs showed how it’s carbon budgeting approach will help South Africa move to a low carbon future.
The New Climate Economy available online here.