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South Africa

Federative (9 provinces)
Political Groups
G77, G20
World Bank Income Group
Upper middle income
Global Climate Risk Index

The annually published Global Climate Risk Index analyses to what extent countries have been affected by the impacts of weather-related loss events (storms, floods, heat waves etc.).

Published by German Watch https://www.germanwatch.org/en/cri
Share of Global Emissions
Laws, Acts, Constitutions (legislative branch)
Policies, strategies, decrees, action plans (from executive branch)
Coming soon
Court cases and tribunal proceedings
Climate targets in National Law & Policy

Latest Documents

, 2020

This plan enables South Africa's stimulus package to combat the COVID-19-induced economic crisis. The plan notably seeks to increase the use of green infrastructure bonds and green climate finance, pursue green industrialisation and other green economy interventions.

, 2020

The National Climate Change Adaptation Strategy (NCCAS) provides a common vision of climate change adaptation and climate resilience for South Africa, and outlines priority areas for achieving this vision. It draws on South Africa's National Climate Change Response Policy (NCCRP) (DEA 2011), the National Development Plan (NDP) (NPC 2011), the adaptation commitments include...

, 2019

This plan was originally published in 2010 as a subset of the Integrated Energy Plan. A revised plan was published in October 2019. This document sets the government's strategy for its mining and energy sectors. It notably 1) acknowledges the pressure of coal mining on climate change and health, 2) envisions carbon capture and storage as a solution for reducing the se...

, 2019

This document is based on the White Paper on Energy Policy (1998) and determines how to improve energy utilisation, mainly through improvements in energy intensity and decoupling economic growth from energy demand. The National Energy Efficiency Strategy (2016), only released as a draft, aims to further stimulate energy efficiency improvements, achieved through the energy ...

, 2019

The Carbon Tax Act (Act No. 15 of 2019) aims to provide for the imposition of a tax on the carbon dioxide equivalent of greenhouse gas emissions. It defines the calculation of the tax and its application to different activities. The Act includes three annexes containing the fuel combustion emissions factors, fugitive emission factors, industrial processes and product use (...

  • South Africa’s annual GHG emissions will be in a range from 350-420 Mt CO2-eq. 2030 (including LULUCF except emissions from natural disturbances) South Africa’s annual GHG emissions will be in a range from 398-510 Mt CO2-eq. 2025 (including LULUCF except emissions from natural disturbances) From 2016 iNDC: South Africa's emissions by 2025 and 2030 will be in a range between 398 and 614 MtCO2eqEconomy-wide: Economy Wide | Target year: 2030
  • The vision of the GTS is to substantially reduce GHG emissions and other environmental impacts from the transport sector by 5% by 2050.Transport: Transport: General | Target year: 2050Source: Green Transport Strategy (2018-2050)
  • NDC commits S.A. to peak emissions at a specific range between 2025 and 2050.Economy-wide | Target year: 2030Source: Green Transport Strategy (2018-2050)
  • 2009 pledge to reduce emissions 34% by 2020 and 42% by 2025.Economy-wide | Target year: 2025Source: Green Transport Strategy (2018-2050)
  • Emissions are assumed to peak between 2020 and 2025Economy-wide | Target year: 2025Source: Integrated Resource Plan

Legislative Process

The legislative authority is centred on Parliament, which is made up of two Houses, the National Assembly, which has 400 members, and the National Council of Provinces (NCOP), with 90 members. In order for a bill to become law, both Houses must approve it. A bill can be introduced by a Minister, a Deputy Minister, a parliamentary committee or an individual MP. However, most bills are drawn up by a government department under the direction of the relevant Minister or Deputy Minister. The majority of bills are introduced in the National Assembly, but certain bills that affect provinces may be introduced in the NCOP. The law-making process usually starts with the introduction of a Green Paper – a discussion document drafted by the relevant department that is then subject to public consultation. The Green Paper may be followed by a White Paper, a more developed discussion document that broadly outlines government policy and may also be subject to review by interested parties. Once introduced, a bill is referred to the relevant committee, where it is debated in detail and, if necessary, amended. Then the House takes a decision on whether to pass the bill. The last general elections were held in May 2014 with the next due in 2019.