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The South African government regards climate change as one of the greatest threats to our planet and to our people. The South African government also believes that climate change, if un-mitigated, also has the potential to undo or undermine many of the positive advances made in meeting South Africa’s own development goals and the Millennium Development Goals.
During the National Climate Change Conference – 2005 , it was agreed that a participatory climate change policy development process was to be initiated following the conclusion of, among others, a detailed scenario building process to map out how South Africa can meet its United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) Article 2 commitment to greenhouse gas stabilisation whilst ensuring its focus on poverty alleviation and job creation.
In line with these agreements, the Long-term Mitigation Scenario (LTMS) process was initiated in 2006 and was concluded in July 2008.
During his budget speech to parliament on 20 May 2008, the Minister of Environmental Affairs and Tourism announced a National Climate Summit and Science Conference for early 2009 and noted that this Summit would formally launch the policy process that would translate Cabinet’s climate change policy decisions and directives into fiscal, regulatory and legislative packages as well as sectoral implementation plans. The Minister also noted that the National Summit will involve the key government departments, industry, labour, NGO’s and others.
Following the July 2008 Cabinet Lekgotla, a policy development programme for the development of the National Climate Change Response Policy was announced along with government’s directions for the National Climate Change Response Policy.
With this background and in order to implement Cabinet’s decisions and directions, the Department of Environmental Affairs and Tourism and the Department of Science and Technology are hosting the Climate Change Summit 2009 from 3 to 6 March 2009 at the Gallagher Convention Centre in Midrand, Gauteng.
The purpose of the Climate Change Summit 2009 is to:
- Provide all key climate change response stakeholders with an update on the most recent climate change research and other current South African initiatives and interventions; and
- Provide a platform for all key climate change response stakeholders to discuss and agree the framework for a National Climate Change Response Policy that includes, among others, fiscal, regulatory and legislative packages as well as sectoral implementation plans.
By the end of the summit –
- All key climate change response stakeholders have a common understanding of the most recent climate change research and other South African climate change response initiatives and interventions;
- A detailed policy framework (comprehensive annotated table of contents) is broadly supported;
- The roles and responsibilities of sector departments in respect to the development of the sector policy components is agreed;
- All policy development timelines and milestones are agreed;
- The implications and intentions of all policy directions are understood.
As participation in the Climate Change Summit 2009 proper is limited to 600 climate change response stakeholders, unfortunately, the participation of mandated representatives of government bodies, organised labour (e.g. trade unions), business and industry associations, public interest groups (e.g. NGOs and CBOs) and academia will be prioritised.
However, attempts are being made to allow all interested people to actively participate in this event through the use of cutting-edge information and communication technology. Developments in this regard will be published on this website as soon as this information is available.