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Wednesday, 26 October 2016 10:24

Launch of South Africa’s definitive climate change law and governance guide

The coming into force of the Paris Agreement on 4 November 2016 illustrates the international community’s elevated appreciation of the political, environmental, economic and social importance of the urgent implementation of a comprehensive global climate change response.

Compared to the eight years it took for the Kyoto Protocol to come into force, the 11 months between the conclusion of the Paris Agreement and its coming into operation is the blink-of-an-eye in the context of international diplomacy.
Although South Africa formally indicated to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (“UNFCCC”) that it intended to ratify the Paris Agreement, it has not yet deposited its formal instrument of ratification. This is set to change very soon, as indicated in a Cabinet Statement of 19 October 2016, which notes that Cabinet has approved that the Paris Agreement be submitted to Parliament for ratification. This step sends a positive signal of South Africa’s continued commitment to contribute to the global climate change response.

Against the international and national political, environmental and economic parameters of the global response, the publication of Climate Change: Law and Governance in South Africa is an essential first contribution to the literature seeking to analyse the much-vexed question of effective governance of the domestic climate change response. Upon South Africa’s ratification of the Paris Agreement, the importance of the domestic response will increase as South Africa’s performance is compared to the responses of other UNFCCC country parties, and the country’s efforts made subject to the scrutiny of the international community.

Climate Change: Law and Governance in South Africa provides a comprehensive analysis of the anticipated climate change impacts on South Africa, the relevant laws and policies that will be required to deal with such impacts, and their intersection with international governance structures. The book is co-edited and co-authored by Professor Tracy Humby, Professor Louis Kotzé, and ENSafrica’s Olivia Rumble and Andrew Gilder, with contributions from 30 other content authors. It is published in loose-leaf format, intended to be updated annually.

“This well written and carefully referenced book covers a wide range of issues including climate change ethics, climate change science and the history of South Africa’s journey in the complex, climate change landscape. The book is a must read for all those trying to ‘untangle’ the complex web of laws, discourses, paradigms and debates about climate change at various scales – locally, nationally and internationally,” concludes Coleen Vogel, Distinguished Professor, Global Change and Sustainability Research Institute, University of the Witwatersrand.

For more information, please contact:
Andrew Gilder
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+27 82 382 6279
Olivia Rumble
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+27 82 788 0864