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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

Pic­ture: iSTOCK

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