To have come so far, and then fail at the final hurdle would be tragic.

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Transcript To have come so far, and then fail at the final hurdle would be tragic.

GPAfr comments on Climate
Change White Paper
Ferrial Adam
Energy and Climate Change Campaigner
The White Paper
• GPAfr welcomes the finalisation of the National
Climate Change Response White Paper
• Concern that at the final stages there seems to be an
element of haste.
• This White Paper is so substantially different from
the original Green Paper thus more time should be
given to civil society for comments and consultation.
• 8 days is simply not enough time for a consultative
process on a document that is almost entirely
The (Good) WP
• It does not explicitly refer to nuclear
energy anymore • Inclusion of mitigation targets
• if the White Paper has already been
approved by Cabinet, how will any
comments be incorporated into the final
The bad
• The baseline used for ‘Business as Usual’ is still not
• A number of issues are mentioned for the first time
in the White Paper (after not appearing in the Green
• Thus difficult to substantively comment within the
limited time period.
• Such issues are important ones such as the concept
of a carbon budget, an Emissions Trajectory Range,
and near term priority flagship programmes.
Some comments
• Long Term Goal - WP still makes reference to “below 2°C”.
– Why is it that the South African government is not making reference
to a long-term goal of limiting the average global temperature
increase to 1.5ºC - the Africa Group position
• (2) The National Climate Change Response Objective
– The “fair contribution” language in bullet two should be changed to
“taking a leadership role in the global effort to achieve the
stabilization of greenhouse gas…”
• (5) Adaptation
– It is pleasing to see that the outrageous idea to reserve clean water to
dilute pollution has been removed
Some Comments II
• (6) Mitigation
– More research required on carbon budget to establish the
carbon budgets under a 1.5ºC emissions pathway = NearTerm Priority for the DEA in the White Paper.
– How was the national GHG Emissions Trajectory Range
– Are the targets in the White Paper consistent with
scientific realities or the political realities of a ‘fair share’?
– Are the mitigation targets in line with either national or
international research on what is required to avoid
catastrophic climate change and to keep within 1.5ºC.
Peak, plateau and decline
• The GHG emissions trajectory range details the
“peak, plateau and decline trajectory”
• A plateau in emissions for 10-15 years is absolutely
not in line with what is required by science.
• Reaching the ‘tipping point’ is a far more immediate
threat than originally thought, and the window of
opportunity for avoiding runaway climate change is
rapidly closing for good.
• The White Paper should refer to peak and decline.
Conditionality: finance and
• The White paper states that South Africa’s
emissions reductions are dependent on
international finance and technology.
• This conditionality must be removed.
• It is time for South Africa to show its
leadership and to commit to actions without
waiting for the world to agree on finance and
Really bad ideas
• Carbon Capture and Storage (CCS) is a false
solution to climate change – the technology is
not viable at present and renewable energy
solutions are a much better option.
– CCS is still theoretical, and is untried and untested,
and government should not endorse this
Quick fixes
• (10.3) Partnering with stakeholders
– “civil society needs to critically evaluate, comment on and respond to”
- they are also important as a source of experience, research and
• (10.4) Coordination mechanisms
– Used as a session for government to provide reports, with little
meaningful engagement on substantive issues. The NCCC must be
restructured and strengthened in order to play a more effective role.
• (10.7) Market-based instruments
– Carbon tax - how, what?
– Greenpeace strongly urges the government to ring-fence the money
coming from carbon taxes to go towards renewable energy
• SA has a responsibility to act with urgency.
• A final WP is needed ASAP – but must not be fast-tracked &
motivated by the COP17.
• WP = going to define how we function for the foreseeable
future to combat climate change and cannot just be a mere
media exercise.
• To have come so far, and then fail at the final hurdle would
be tragic.
• Greenpeace Africa urges the government to ensure that once
the process is completed the mechanisms to implement the
policy will be put into place as soon as possible.
Thank you!!