National Climate Change Adaptation Strategy

National Climate Change Adaptation Strategy open for public comment

South Africa’s Minister of Environmental Affairs, Nomvula Mokonyane, published the draft National Climate Change Adaptation Strategy (NCCAS) on 6 May 2019 for public input and comments. Members of the public can submit their written input and comments by 5 June 2019.

This strategy should be South Africa’s master plan to deal with climate change that aims to provide a common vision of climate change adaptation and climate resilience for the country – a country already experiencing significant climate change impacts.

“Adapting to build a strong South Africa” is the key message proposed by the draft strategy as it emphasises subsidiary messages such as the impact climate change will have on poor and vulnerable communities or the increased climate adaptation investment opportunities.

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    • Here is the full list of subsidiary messages that fall under the banner of “Adapting to build a strong South Africa”, proposed by the NCCAS:
      • South Africa needs to adapt to climate change: Sustained warming and increasing rainfall variability over the short to medium term (the next two to three decades) will have increasingly adverse effects on key sectors of South Africa’s economy in the absence of effective adaptation responses.
      • Climate change threatens development: The projected adverse effects of ongoing climate change in South Africa are likely to threaten the achievement of urgent national development needs, and well-founded aspirations to address historical inequities.
      • The poor are most vulnerable to climate change impacts: The increasing frequency of extreme weather events is likely to have a disproportionate impact on the poorest in society (both rural and urban), amplifying existing social inequalities. The poor typically have limited opportunities and, consequently, are disproportionately affected by the negative impacts of climate change.
      • The NCCAS will give South Africa an advantage in the future: Planning for climate change ensures that South Africa is in a position to leverage opportunities that arise due to changing climatic conditions and enhance its global competitiveness.
      • Climate change presents investment opportunities: New funding flows to support adaptation represent the biggest acceleration of development investment since the achievement of democracy in South Africa. This provides a unique opportunity to both ensure climate resilience
        and achieve development aspirations.
      • Transformational change: Transformational, systemic change is required to address the challenges presented by climate change.
      • The need for integration and collaboration: Sectoral and integrated cross-sectoral approaches are essential to building societal resilience in a holistic way.
      • Linkages between adaptation and mitigation are increasingly vital: This is because there is an intensified international focus on keeping global warming below 2°C, and therefore adaptation responses need to be cognisant of their mitigation implications. At the same time, the adverse impacts of climate change on resource availability potentially limits energy development options. An adaptation and mitigation strategy requires integrated planning.


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