South Africa’s post-COVID climate response and the path to its NDC goals

Image: Getty,Per Anders Pettersson / Corbis News
Image: Getty,Per Anders Pettersson / Corbis News

The COVID-19 pandemic, the outcomes of the 26th Conference of the Parties (COP26) and the global impact of the Ukraine war have put South Africa in a unique position as it pursues its updated nationally determined contribution (NDC).

Summary points:

  • The COVID-19 pandemic, the outcomes of the 26th Conference of the Parties (COP26) and the global impact of the Russian invasion of Ukraine provide the context shaping South Africa’s pursuit of its ambitious nationally determined contribution (NDC).
  • While the pandemic and COP26 galvanised the country’s efforts on climate change, the impact of the Ukraine war on energy markets threatens to derail these efforts.
  • South Africa has no shortage of ‘pro-green’ policies and strategies that can deliver the country’s climate commitments, but implementation and consistency of political messaging are lacking.
  • South Africa has made a great deal of progress in the areas of carbon pricing and green financing and is leading the African continent on those fronts.
  • The Just Energy Transition Partnership and new climate legislation are among the major enablers of South Africa’s NDC, while the country’s ongoing power shortages, global events and inconsistency of domestic political messaging are among its main impediments.

16 Jan 2023