... and we as a country need to keep up to the new trends and new set of values. One of these changes is climate change and the new ethical responsibility we have towards the future of our planet.
If we look at the locust outbreak in central and North Africa, I ask myself: Are we ready as South Africa to protect our farmers against natural disasters and plagues like these? I am afraid to say that I really do not think so.
Yet we have a responsibility to do everything we can to help prevent things to get worse and slow down climate change, but on the other hand we must prepare for the unavoidable as well. We must become forward thinking and proactive as a government. The Western Cape is a good example of exactly that.
This government must incentivise farmers to make use of more waterwise farming methods and other farming measures that can control their environment like warehouse farming. This is crucial for food security and stability in the industry in the future.
Government must invest heavily in research with regards to more resilient specimens that can withstand the extremes that might follow. Therefore, Onderstepoort needs to be funded urgently to be able to fulfil their mandate successfully.
Hon House Chairperson, our current electricity crises of which we felt just last night and earlier today with another stage four load shedding migraine, provide a window of opportunity for us to transform our energy sector. But the political will need to be there to do that and to do it now.
We need to open bid window five immediately for Independent Power Producers, IPPs, to come on board and invest in renewable energy generation capacity. We must move away from coal-based energy consumption - there is no such thing as clean coal energy. This fact comes straight out of the mouth of Minister Creecy who said that there is no technology to clear carbon emissions from coal generation.
Let us think of our future and the future of our beautiful planet and the future of our children and their children and to act now or we will be judged by the future generations for our failure to listen to our planet's cries. I thank you. [Applause.]
The MINISTER OF ENVIRONMENT, FORESTRY AND FISHERIES: Hon House
Chairperson, hon members, thank you very much for inviting me to participate in this debate, and allow me at the outset, to once again welcome President Cyril Ramaphosa's commitment which he made in his state of the nation address to establishing the Presidential Climate Change Commission to lead our just transition to a lower carbon, climate resilient and sustainable economy and society that will leave no one behind.
Let me further also restate, what all hon members across party lines have stated today that science is telling us that the Southern part of Africa has been identified as a climate change hotspot with the extreme weather events. Evidence, we have all seen in recent times. This includes flooding and severe storms in the KwaZulu-Natal as well as parts of the Eastern Cape leading to loss of lives, destruction of infrastructure and homes.
The Eastern, Western and Northern Cape have experienced the most prolonged drought in recorded history. These extreme weather events put pressure to our already constrained fiscus, health sector, disaster management and social security systems. Our national biodiversity as many members have said, confirm the impacts of climate change on biodiversity and now spans all realms and most species, including impacting on ecosystem structure and function as well as a direct threat to the survival of many species.
It is important to acknowledge that climate change poses both risks and opportunities to our country, and I will speak more about these opportunities later in my speech. On the risks side, we know that climate change has the potential to reverse the progress made under the Millennium Development Goals, MDGs, and further impede our efforts to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals we have adopted together with the international community.
Our vulnerability to climate change is exacerbated by our economic inequality, poverty and our current dependency on coal-fired power generation. This year the Paris Agreement under the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, UNFCCC, comes fully into force. Climate change and its associated consequences can only be addressed by the world's nations working together. It can only be
addressed when together we all honour our mutual commitments and our differentiated responsibilities.
It can only be effective when we stand together in support of the Paris Agreement and the Kyoto Protocol.
South Africa will continue, as a responsible global citizen, to speak in support of multilateralism and the Convention and its Paris Agreement. Hon members, when I spoke in the state of the nation debate I outlined in some detail how national government is responding to climate change and how we are fulfilling our obligations in terms of the UNFCCC, the Kyoto Protocol and the Paris Accord to which we are a signatory.
Today, it is appropriate to focus on what subnational government can do. At Cop 25 in Madrid last December, the United Cities and Local Governments, UCLG, had the following to say:
In the face of multiple, complex and interconnected challenges at the global level, it is essential to work together among the different spheres of government in order to achieve common objectives considering all stakeholders. Increasingly, local and regional action is accelerating commitments to implement
Agenda 2030 and the Paris Agreement, so that the future of the climate considers the principles of solidarity, social justice, intergenerational dialogues and peace and with a human rights approach.
This significant statement acknowledges the role that all levels of government must play in achieving Agenda 2030 and the Paris Agreement. It also stresses that such agreements cannot be achieved without involving local communities and a wide range of civil society actors. Our own Climate Change Policy outlines that:
Our overall strategic approach for South Africa's climate change response is needs driven and customised; developmental; transformational, empowering and participatory; dynamic and evidence- based; balanced and cost effective; and integrated and aligned.
So hon members, you know that we are currently finalising the Climate Change Bill that will give effect to management approaches to the inevitable impacts and mitigation for climate change measures. In this regard, all provinces and municipalities have to undertake climate risk assessments and develop their own customised
climate change response strategies which take local circumstances into account.
To this end, at a technical level, we have already worked with many of your provincial governments to develop provincial adaptation plans and we have supported all districts municipalities in developing climate change response plans. Now hon members, as the members of the NCOP, we are asking you to ensure that all provincial executive councils and all municipal councils officially adopt the strategies to ensure political leadership in addressing climate change.
For provinces and municipalities to prioritise implementation, will require resource allocation and building necessary local capacity. In this regard we welcome the fact that in many districts climate change strategies are already integrated into their Integrated Development Plans. A number of Cities are also members of global city movements relating to climate action and city networks that contribute to the climate change agendas such as the 100 Resilient Cities, the ICLEI, Local Governments for Sustainability and the C40 Cities Climate Leadership Group.
Many have internal, through their statutory planning documents and global carbon commitments and targets that apply to functions such as transport planning, urban development and spatial planning, infrastructure investment and service delivery. Furthermore, there is increasing regional co- ordination and horizontal integration of climate change responses as municipalities are sharing practice and learning from one another, such as through the KwaZulu- Natal Climate Change Compact.
Some of South Africa's Metros are pioneering Net Carbon Zero Building policy and regulations, and this requires that buildings exceed the country's energy efficiency and energy consumption standards, and that their remaining energy demand is met by renewable energy. We are working with the weather service to enhance our early warning systems for extreme weather events, so that provinces and municipalities can ensure readiness to address and avert climate induced disasters.
Three weeks ago, I met with the SA Weather Service and we agreed that the service will begin to educate local communities across the country so they can better understand Climate Change and respond appropriately. We are also working with a range of nongovernmental institutions to create awareness amongst schools and learners on
issues such as climate change and sustainability. We will also enhance our existing partnership with the Department of Education to improve teaching of the environmental aspects of the Life Orientation curriculum.
National, provincial and local government have environmental programmes that aim to restore ecosystems services which nature provides free of charge. Through our environmental programmes this year, we are spending R1,9 billion to restore wetlands, estuaries and coastal dunes, to better protect infrastructure and human settlements from storms, floods and sea level rise. If we work much more closely together, hon members, and we co- ordinate our work better, we will have much more significant impact.
Our government is currently in discussion with the German government a new ground earmarked for land-based programmes to enhance the carbon sequestration potential of South Africa's natural biomes. Through this initiative, we plan to enhance carbon absorption in grasslands and savannahs through improved grazing management as well as restoration of our indigenous forests, and hon Smit, you will be glad to know that Limpopo is included in this programme.
Hon members, we often emphasise the risk climate change poses to our country. It is also important to understand that it also presents us with opportunities. Responding appropriately to climate change provides provincial and local government with new opportunities for inclusive growth and job creation in the field of renewables and green technology. A recent study by Accenture estimates green industries and technology can unlock economic activities to the value $350 billion on our continent.
In the wake of the release of the new integrated resource plan and the announcements on different dispensations for energy generation by the Minister of Energy, new possibilities are opening up at subnational government level for the use of renewables. Standard Bank has also just issued a green bond for the first time, aimed at raising US$ 200 million in a 10 year facility to support environmentally friendly projects in renewables, energy and water efficiency and green buildings.
Our country has some of the largest scale resources in vanadium, platinum, palladium, nickel, manganese, rare earths, copper and cobalt. Platinum- catalysed fuel cell and hydrogen markets are beginning to grow exponentially. South Africa has one of world's
most extensive platinum reserves, and our country is well placed to take advantage of these new economic opportunities.
We are currently finalising the national employment vulnerability assessment and associated Job Resilient Plans for the four value chains namely coal, petroleum transport, metals, tourism and agriculture. We will need to work together towards the implementation of plans for sector resilience in all provinces and at all districts levels Since 2018, we have mobilised in excessive R7,5 billion worth of grant and concessional finance from both bilateral and multilateral funding sources.
These funds are funding climate support programmes in government, local adaptation programmes, energy efficiency, development of low emission, development strategies and capacity building as well battery storage and renewables. A new Development Bank of Southern Africa, DBSA, Climate Finance Facility, CFF, and an ecosystem based adaptation programme in the Western Indian Ocean. This includes US $3,6 million grant from the Global Environment Facility, GEF, for scaling- up and mainstreaming sustainable land management for large- scale impact on grazing land.
South Africa will continue to lobby developed countries to provide an adequate, reliable and predictable source of international funding for both mitigation and adaptation. Our country will also participate in a range of international forums to access both grant based and blended finance solutions for our climate needs. Hon members, as we have said, climate change poses us with both risks and opportunities. It is important that across government at all levels of government, provincial, national and local government, we mobilise and work together.
It is important that involve business, organised labour and civil society, and of course, the young people whose future is mostly at stake. If we work together under the auspices of the Presidential Climate Change Commission, I have no doubt that we will be able to ensure our country benefits from the opportunities prevented, and that we ensure just transition to a lower carbon growth path that leaves no one behind. Thank you very much. [Applause.]
MUKHANTSELARA Vho T B MATIBE: Mudzulatshidulu, ri khou livhuwa tshipi?a hetshi tshe ra tshi ?ekedzwiwa uri ri ?ekedze zwi?uku hafha zwino yelana na khanedzano heyi ine ya vha hone phan?a hashu. Kha Mudzulatshidulu, Vho Minisi?ara, mira?o yo?he ya National Council of
Provinces, lushaka lwo?he ngei nn?a nga u angaredza, ri?e sa dzangano ?a ANC ri khou ?a u ?ekedza mafhungo ane ra khou tea u ?ekedza lushaka zwi tshi yelana na ?hoho ya heyi khanedzano ine ro i ?ekedziwa hafha kha National Council of Provinces.
House Chairperson, let me start with the ANC policy. In terms of the Constitution of the ANC in the aims and objectives of the ANC, Rule 2,8 states that the ANC will support, advance the cause of national liberation, development, world peace, disarmament, and most importantly hon members, support and advance the cause of environmentally sustainable development. So, it's within our blood as the ANC that we ... [Applause.] ... have an environmentally sustainable development.
Just for further indulgence on this policy hon members on the policy position of the ANC, in the 1992 Ready to Govern policy guidelines, the ANC put it that 'any plans to grow the economy must not harm the environment.
So, even before we were in government, we were ready to put any environmental friendly guidelines that will assist our environment just on the passing. So, it's not about that we are already in
government, even before we were in government, our policy position was geared to towards making a good environment for our people.
According to the Global Risks Report for 2020, the top five global risks in terms of livelihood and impacts are all environmental, extreme weather conditions, failure for climate change mitigation and adaptation, human made environmental damage and disasters, major bio-diversity loss and ecosystem collapse, major natural resources such as earthquakes and tsunami.
Vhathu vho ambaho murahu hanga hafha vho no sumbedzisa uri Muphuresidennde vho zwi amba musi vha tshi ?ekedza state of the nation address Vho Ramaphosa uri vha khou ?i?ekedzela kha u ita Afrika Tshipembe ?ine ?i a sedzana na mafhungo a tshanduko ya ki?ima. Nga i?we n?ila zwo?he zwine ra fanela u zwi ita sa muvhuso ri tea u zwi ita ri tshi sedza na hezwo.
So, all the challenges that are there in terms of the climate change and the Bill that has been passed by Parliament, all of them are geared towards making sure that we have a responsive government that respond to climate change.
In responding to the urgency to combat the reality of climate change, we need to pull all of our resources together and this require building a very strong social compact for all of us. So, it's not about Western Cape, hon Labuschagne. It's about South Africa. It's about the Southern African Development Community, SADC. It's about Africa. [Applause.] It's about the world. [Applause.] So, if we don't integrate and have a social compact, all of us and try to isolate ourselves as a province, it will never assist us in the fight and it does not show urgency towards addressing the issue of climate change.
In addition, the National Climate Change Adaptation Strategy provides a common vision for climate change adaptation and resilience for the country and outlines the priority for achieving this vision. This roadmap is for enhancing resilience to climate change because it will also ensure facilitation and development of adaptation initiatives at different levels of government, and business and society at large, thus informing resource allocation to various stakeholders towards climate change resilience.
So, we should be able to pull together have a social compact with our business, all the stakeholders that are there, youth, women, all stakeholders so that all of us are geared towards having that.
We have already elaborated on the President's commitment during the state of the nation address.
The implementation of climate change adaptation and mitigation programme must be strengthened within our local communities. It's good that the ANC- led government has a district model which will assist in terms of co- operation and integration of all the plans that we have as national, provincial and local government. If we do that it's going to assist in terms of those plans.
So, no municipality, no locality can be isolated from other areas in South Africa because environmental impact does not have borders and boundaries. It is for every part of South Africa.
Local government and provincial government must have infrastructure development plans responsive to challenges posed by climate change. As we have noticed the devastation caused by floods in Gauteng as well as Kwa- Zulu Natal, it's an indication that all our provinces and local municipalities must put together their disaster management plan that is responsive to any climate change that is there.
The policy think tanks, exploring current and future risks from flooding, storm surges and other disasters in Eden District
Municipality have recommended the restoration and protection of key ecosystems such as wetlands and dunes to proactively manage disaster risk. Those are some of the municipalities that have put in place plans to do that.
For us hon members, to respond urgent need to upscale climate action we need to take into account the following: Barriers and enablers of policy implementation. We need to look at the research and development. We need to look at young people as well as women and how do we empower them. We need hon Minister, to initiate community projects that speak to issues of climate change so that climate change must not remain in Parliament and in government. It must also go to the communities and ensure that communities are there and active participants in terms of climate change put alternative livelihoods nature base solutions, ecosystem adaptation, climate change flagship and climate information and services.
Our people need to have information on climate change and they have been doing that.
In terms of the legislative framework as I conclude House Chairperson, it is important to ensure that effective legislative framework to ensure that South Africa meets all its obligations, we
have obligation in SADC, we have obligation in the AU, we have obligation in the United Nations in terms of climate change obligations. So, the strict adherence to all those obligations will assist us to do that.
As I conclude House Chairperson, government led by the ANC has initiated various flagship programmes for climate change adaptation and mitigation. It is only the government of the ANC that can adequately respond to the urgency to combat the reality of climate change. Thank you very much. [Applause.]