Report produced by Trade and Industrial Policy Strategies for WWF-SA, South Africa. WWF received funding from the British High Commission to establish a programme to provide the South African agri-food value chain with tools and information to understand and proactively respond to climate risks in the value chain thereby supporting on-going productivity in South Africa and continued local and international market access for South African supply farms.
Should you wish to reference this paper, please do so as follows:
Zwane, M. & Montmasson-Clair, G. 2016. Climate change adaptation and agriculture in South Africa: a policy assessment. Report compiled for WWF-SA. South Africa
Industrial development and climate change mitigation have historically been opposed to each other. This is reflected in the industrial and climate change policy frameworks in South Africa. As a result of these two opposing frameworks and the disruptive and complex nature of the necessary transition to a low-carbon economy, the emergence of a climate change regime is seen as a threat and a risk to industrial development. Without immediate and ambitious action, the dichotomy between industrial development and climate change mitigation is moreover due to amplify. This raises the need to overcome the limited prism of analysis focused on incompatibility. This policy brief aims to contribute to filling the gap by investigating the interplay between industrial and climate change policies, the compatibility of the two frameworks and the options to manage the transition. This policy brief first argues that South Africa’s institutional arrangement and policy vision for industrial development and climate change are mainly mutually beneficial and provide an opportunity for a holistic approach. Second, the necessity for South Africa to position the country on short-term trade-offs associated with the cost of the transition is put forward. Third, the need for a strategic discovery and policy impact assessment process is ascertained.
A global benchmarking of policy instruments for effective climate change mitigation demonstrates the need for a mix of policy measures. The optimal policy package is characterised by the complementarity of its policy components, and the recognition of context: the appropriateness of the mix of measures varies from country to country depending on unique sets of climate change challenges as welll as other national objectives. South Africa is considering a number of policy options for climate mitigation: a carbon tax, desired emissions reductions outcomes, and required energy management plans. To determine the optimal policy package, an assessment of the range of policy instruments is needed, particularly in understanding how these instruments can be used together and in which cases they are redundant or suboptimal and burdensome.
Discussion document prepared for the Climate Change Expert Group (CCXG) Global Forum held in Paris in March 2013.
This paper conducts a case study focused on the state of the tracking of public and private climate-related inflows to South Africa. It investigates South Africa's strategy on climate finance (tracking) and describes South Africa's project-based approach to tracking. It also explores what data on public (domestic and foreign) and private climate finance inflows are available in South Africa and how information is collected. It also highlights the challenges with regards to tracking climate finance in South Africa and formulates recommendations.
The need to address sustained economic growth while simultaneously preserving the natural environment presents important policy challenges for countries such as South Africa. Growing concerns about climate change, a loss of biodiversity, and the poor management of natural resources such as forests and water all indicate that the benefits of growth – and its ability to deliver social well-being – must be increasingly considered in light of environmental costs.
Some of the most innovative instruments focused on balancing growth and environmental impact are originating in developing countries. Payment for Ecosystem Services (PES) is one such instrument, used most commonly in Latin America, which is gaining increased traction. Through the use of monetary and in-kind payments, PES incentivises landowners and communities to maintain intact ecosystems, restore the natural environments of degraded land, and use natural resources sustainably. PES recognises that landowners and communities face opportunity costs in foregoing certain economic activities to preserve and restore natural environments and that compensation is necessary to make these costs acceptable, particularly for poor people. The justification for these payments is that preserved ecosystems can provide important natural services, such as regulating the hydrological cycle or sequestering carbon. sustainable land use management can bring strong economic returns. A study by Blignaut and Mander (2010), looking at five past watershed restoration and reforestation projects in South Africa, estimates that conservation in these areas
has provided a monetary annual return equivalent to R116 to R220 per hectare per year over periods of about 30 years compared to equivalent estimated costs of watershed restoration totaling between R21 to R88 per hectare per year.
Climate and trade issues lie at the intersection of two of the world's most contested, delayed and important multilateral negotiations. Climate change under the auspices of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) and international trade as regulated by the World Trade Organization (WTO). This paper is a scoping assessment of the inter-relationship between international trade and climate change negotiations as it affects policy development in South Africa. The paper highlights two key variants of measures which pose a challenge to both these negotiations, specifically border carbon adjustments and the liberalization of trade in environmental goods and services.
The paper finds that while free trade in green industry products may be encouraged under a global climate agreement, it should not be reasonably required. In addition, for Border Carbon Adjustments (BCAs) under the UNFCCC, the authors recommend that BCAs be considered an issue best left to the WTO to judge as fair or not. At the same time, the authors propose a multilateral climate agreement under the UNFCCC which considers one (or all) of the following three agreements/provisions to mitigate the negative impact of response measures on non-Annex 1 countries:
The construction sector has a key role to play in greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions reductions. Not only can firms in the sector, by using less energy-intensive and polluting strategies and techniques, contribute to this reduction, these firms can also encourage clients to utilize such technologies. The construction sector encompasses a range of segments; the building sector with primary building work demolitions, maintenance, repairs and alterations and heavy construction work. Typically, however, the construction sector is seen as encompassing residential building (houses and residential property), non-residential building (industrial buildings) and civil works (or civil engineering). As noted in the economic sector review of the construction industry, the building sector dominates. This segment accounted for 62.5% of all construction activities in value terms in 2009.
The draft Integrated Resource Plan (IRP) for electricity generation was released for public comment by the South African Department of Energy (DOE) in October 2010. While the document is therefore still in draft form, and will presumably be refined in the final stage of public engagement, it is worthwhile to reflect on the state of this draft IRP, a document that marks a turning point in the energy planning process in South Africa.
The process of supporting transparent and accountable electricity planning in South Africa, open to public debate, and reflected upon and refined based on a process of democratic engagement, has hitherto been absent in contemporary South Africa. Indeed, until very recently, dialogue on the makeup and priorities of electricity planning were restricted to a handful of closely knit institutions and individuals, and outside of the breadth of public examination. The IRP 2010, as the latest IRP document is referred to, represents the first in what will hopefully be a long history of transparent electricity planning efforts in the country.
Equally important, the document constitutes the first tangible attempt to commence the process of integrating and aligning South Africa’s climate change mitigation objectives on the one hand, through a reduction in greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions associated with electricity usage, and the country’s traditional and critically important energy planning functions and priorities related to universal access, economic development, industrial competitiveness and security of supply.
There is an increased recognition that actions to address climate change and the environment are intimately linked to economic growth and sustainable development goals and needs. Actions to promote increased resilience to climate change impacts and a lower greenhouse gas (GHG) emission economy in Southern African Development Community (SADC) fall across a variety of sectors, such as energy, agriculture, health, water resources and infrastructure. The achievement of a number of Millennium Development Goals (MDG) targets, most notably in poverty reduction, will be compromised by five climates change induced human development tipping points, including reduction on agricultural productivity, heighten water insecurity, exposure to extreme events, collapse of ecosystems, and increased health risks.
To obtain effective answers to how to address climate change and the environment from trade as well as developmental and economc perspective in SADC, it is crucial to engage a variety of government stakeholders in SADC such as ministries of finance, planning, energy, health, etc as well as other relevant stakeholders, such as the private sector, NGOs, and civil society. Thus, the paper take cognisance of the fact that the SADC countries together with the rest of the world that are signatory to the Kyoto Protocol ratified the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) in 1995 and became legally obligated to adopt and implement policies and measures designed to mitigate the effects of climate change and to adapt to such changes. As a result of this paper, both the technical understanding of key climate change issues and their economic and policy implications within the context of the Convention will be enhanced and the integration of climate issues into national development and economic planning in SADC wll be enabled.