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SA praised for proposed climate change legislation

by Kemantha Govender
on 06 Dec 2011
BuaNews Online
BuaNews Online

The South African government has been praised for setting an example by moving to introduce climate change legislation.

The second GLOBE Climate Legislation Study was released on Monday and South Africa features in the list of countries reviewed in 2011.

A high-level delegation, including UNFCCC Executive Secretary Christiana Figueres, UK Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change Chris Huhne and GLOBE President Lord Deben attended the launch.

Deben said South Africa was the most encouraging country in the world and was now once again taking a lead with comprehensive legislation to deal with climate change.

The study shows that developing countries are much more proactive in introducing legislation that deals with climate change compared with their developed counterparts.

The United States and Canada are a few countries from the developed world that came under fire for a lack of action to develop climate change legislation.

Figueres said it was very sad that the US was losing opportunities to be a leading force in a greener economy. She hoped to see more progress from other countries when the study is next undertaken.

The study documents the national climate change policy of 17 major economies in the world and this year, there has been significant political movement in 10 of the countries, including South Africa.

South Africa's white paper presents government's vision for an effective climate change response and long-term goals towards a lower-carbon economy and climate resilient society. It includes proposal to set emissions reduction outcomes for each significant sector in the economy.

China is one example and is expected to provide the motor of global economic growth in coming decades.

China has continued to publish more detailed policies and measures to deliver its carbon and energy intensity targets.

The study said Mexico has been one of the most active developing countries in relation to conducting and updating the UNFCCC's national inventories on greenhouse emissions.

Climate change legislation is one way of attracting sustainable investments and business opportunities, according to Huhne.

The Australian government's Clean Energy Act has a long-term target of reducing net greenhouse gas emissions to 80 percent below 2000 levels by 2050 by putting a price on carbon, initially through a fixed carbon tax (2012-2015) and through an emissions trading scheme.

The study is also aimed at helping policy makers from other countries to draft legislation. - BuaNews

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