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Tuesday, 08 October 2013 14:17

Renewed perspectives on climate change

The South African Weather Services, the Department of Environmental Affairs and the World Meteorological Organisation (WMO) recently hosted a workshop on the national implementation of the WMO Global Framework for Climate Change Services (GFCS).

The South African Weather Services, in collaboration with the Department of Environmental Affairs and the World Meteorological Organisation (WMO), recently hosted a workshop on the national implementation of the WMO Global Framework for Climate Change Services (GFCS).

The workshop was held on 19 August at St George’s Hotel and Conference Centre. The event was opened by the Deputy Minister of Water and Environmental Affairs, Rejoice Mabudafhasi, who emphasised the importance of access to climate information to support decision-making at all levels. Mabudafhasi pledged her support for a process towards further exploring the implications of the GFCS for South Africa in the context of South Africa’s strategic approach to responding to climate change and its impacts.

The four-day workshop explored the maturity of activities within the GFCS’s five components: user interface; the climate services information system; observations and monitoring; research, modelling and applications; and capacity development. Additionally, it also sought to address the immense variety of user needs for climate services in the country.

The Cabinet-approved National Climate Change Response Policy presents South Africa’s vision for an effective climate change response towards a just transition to a climate-resilient and lower carbon economy and society.

The workshop brought together key stakeholders, who discussed access to climate data in the country, considered future needs for meteorological data, and planned the enhancement of partnerships around the provision of climate information. This initiative finds its niche in coordinating climate observation, predictions and research across existing knowledge generation institutions.

Mabudafhasi expressed her confidence in the workshop and what she hopes would be achieved. “It is my sincere hope that through this workshop, the first steps towards a continuous assessment and improvement of climate-related services will be crafted, involving all institutions present here today that are relevant to the supply of climate services to our country.

Full thanks and acknowledgement are given to the Department of Environmental Affairs for the information given to write this article.

Conclusion

There are potential opportunities in the RE industry in Africa. Some regional hotspots include Ethiopia, with an emerging market for off-grid residential and agricultural solar PV applications, as well as Kenya and Ghana, with a growing residential (solar home systems) market.

Frost & Sullivan concludes that due to the financial and legal systems currently in place, the RE industry in South Africa is looking promising and growing rapidly. This development could serve as a platform for investors and companies to enter the industry and gain a footprint in the rest of Africa. However, due to an unsupportive regulatory environment, energy under-pricing, a lack of technical capacity and a weak supply chain, the market growth of RE in Africa is restrained.

Frost & Sullivan

Samantha James Corporate Communications Africa

Tel: +27 21 680 3574

Fax: +27 21 680 3296

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Website: http://www.frost.com

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