Climate change scenarios create a basis for long-term climate policy in South Africa

Since 2009, the International Climate Initiative (IKI) has supported the South African government in regards to climate and environmental protection. On behalf of the German Federal Environment Ministry (BMU), the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH has been advising the South African Department of Environmental Affairs (DEA) in the formulation of its climate policy.

It is within this context that an IKI project supported the drafting of the National Climate Change Response White Paper (NCCRP), which was published in 2011, and presents a national climate strategy for South Africa. A large number of interest groups from civil society, the research community and the private sector were included in this process. The strategy encompasses all the relevant elements of national climate policy and includes concrete measures aimed at reducing greenhouse gas emissions as well as climate change adaptation, which should be implemented over a timeframe from 2013-2017. This will make South Africa's society more climate-friendly, and at the same time more resilient to the impacts of climate change.

In order to better predict the impacts of climate change on specific parts of South Africa's society and economy, four long term adaptation scenarios (LTAS) were developed on the basis of climate data from the past 50 years. These scenarios cover a large proportion of previous uncertainties regarding climatic developments in South Africa and provide, for the first time, a realistic outlook for potential climatic conditions up to the year 2100. This increases future planning security. A report on this topic was presented to the public on 5 November. Among other things, the scenarios illustrate that even in the case of major worldwide reductions in greenhouse gas emissions, South Africa will still be threatened by the impacts of climate change. In future, it can therefore be expected that there will be increasingly frequent flooding and periods of drought, which will lead to growing food shortages.

Download the report (PDF 7.2 MB, external)

Drawing on this information base, and with support from the IKI, implementation plans for the national climate strategy will be developed in key sectors like the agricultural industry. In addition, the project partners will introduce the developed scenarios as well as lessons learned from them into negotiations on a 2015 global climate change agreement.