FEELING THE HEAT
plan on what it is able and willing to contribute to reduce greenhouse gas emissions in line with the agreement and the UNFCCC, based on the principle of common but differentiated responsibilities provided for developed and developing countries.
SA’s contribution sets out both adaptation and mitigation components. In terms of the adaptation component, the country is developing a national climate adaptation strategy and plan that will be integrated into all relevant sector plans. SA’s mitigation component moves from a deviation from business-as-usual commitment to a commitment to a peak, plateau and decline in GHG emissions.
SA’s GHG emissions are expected to peak between 2020 and 2025, plateau for a decade, and then decline. Therefore, SA’s total GHG emissions are only set to fall from about 2040. Various policies and measures will be introduced to achieve this. These measures include the proposed carbon tax, sector specific desired emission reduction outcomes, company level carbon budgets, and regulatory standards and controls for specifically identified GHGs and GHG emitters.
One such mitigation measure is the declaration of GHGs as priority air pollutants in terms of the National Environmental Management: Air Quality Act, 2004.
On January 8, the Department of Environmental Affairs published notice of its intention to declare carbon dioxide, methane, nitrous oxide, hydrofluorocarbons, perfluorocarbons and sulphur hexafluoride as