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The DA welcomes the progress on the processing of the long-awaited Climate Change Bill. Today the portfolio committee on Forestry, Fisheries and the Environment agreed to a motion of desirability on the Climate Change Bill after a series of amendments were considered and agreed to. The Bill, a first of its kind for South Africa, aims to set out South Africa’s response to the challenges of climate change whilst taking into consideration international best practice.
DA committee members, along with local public representatives have participated in public hearings on the Bill across the country. These hearings have also been supplemented with over 13000 written submissions from members of the public. This has helped to provide essential guidance relating to the concerns of all South Africans relating to climate change. DA members on the committee have been able to debate the merits of the Bill and propose amendments, which have been well received and subsequently factored in.
One of the most important proposals motivated by the DA and agreed to by the Minister, is the inclusion of a prescribed finance mechanism to help support the implementation of climate mitigation and adaptation strategies in financially strapped provinces and municipalities. The DA has also pushed to ensure that the Presidential Climate Commission, which will provide guidance and advice on South Africa’s climate change response, remains transparent and free from undue political influence or lobbying.
South Africa’s climate change response is all the more urgent in light of the energy crisis brought on by the collapse of Eskom under the ANC. Now is the time to ensure that we diversify our energy mix as much as possible by investing in renewable technologies such as solar and wind. In order to achieve this, we must cut red tape wherever we can to allow homeowners and the private sector to grow the overall generation capacity.
The DA has shown that this is possible in cities like Cape Town where the DA administration is helping to facilitate massive growth in rooftop solar, through proactive policies and clean, transparent governance. This approach will need to be the status quo across South Africa, should we wish to emerge from the ongoing energy crisis.
Issued by Dave Bryant MP - DA Shadow Minister of Forestry, Fisheries and Environment