Key Points:

  • Combatting climate change has been flagged as a priority for the South African government and involves reducing greenhouse gas emissions and facilitating the development of low-carbon growth. In a series of papers commissioned by CDE, experts present evidence and analysis looking at the interaction between socio-economic development and climate change policies in South Africa. These papers look at what the transition to a green economy would look like.
  • South Africa’s greenhouse gas emissions increased by 26% between 1990 and 2005, making it the highest greenhouse gas emitter in the world.
  • Central to the climate change debate in South Africa is the concern about whether our economic developmental goals are compatible with ambitious climate change commitments.
  • A rationale for combatting climate change is centred on ensuring South Africa remains competitive in a carbon-constrained world.
  • The potential of local industrial development and employment creation within the green economy trumps the assertion that climate change goals are incompatible with our economic goals.