South Africa’s draft climate change policy, known as the green paper, would be submitted to Cabinet by the end of August, after which it would be gazetted for public comment, the Department of Environmental Affairs (DEA) said on Tuesday.
DEA communications chief director Albi Modise further explained that following engagement on the comments received, a widely-consulted white paper would be submitted into the Parliamentary process by the end of the year, for promulgation which was expected in the first quarter of 2011.
Initially, the green paper was to be released in September 2009, before the Copenhagen climate conference in December 2009. The release of the draft document was then delayed to March 2010, and more recently to mid-2010.
The release of the draft climate change policy was eagerly awaited by industry players, which sought to know more about how different sectors of the economy were expected to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
At the global climate change conference in Copenhagen, South African President Jacob Zuma stated that South Africa would reduce its emissions by 34% by 2020, and by 42% by 2025, below a business as usual emissions projection.
This meant that, provided South Africa was given financial, technological and capacity building assistance from the developed world, South Africa would continue to increase its emissions until 2020, but would do so to a lesser degree.