As SA works to wiggle its way off the UK’s red list to attend the COP26 meetings, the country has updated its Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs) to show more ambitious efforts to combat the climate crisis. But the country’s scramble for energy may be a setback to achieving its new targets.
South Africa is the 12th-biggest carbon emitter in the world, but has continued pursuing fossil fuel projects that will increase emissions. This week, however, the government lowered its target emission range to align with the global goal of limiting temperature increases to 1.5°C by the end of the century through updating the country’s Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs).
The updated contributions, which come ahead of climate envoys from the UK, US, France and Germany arriving in South Africa to discuss a possible coal retirement plan this week, fall under the umbrella of the first NDCs, which were submitted in 2016. The second NDCs are expected in 2025 as part of the Paris Agreement obligations to publish contributions every five years.
South Africa’s revised carbon emission targets range between 350 to 420 metric tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent (Mt CO2-eq). The country’s lower target range of 350Mt CO2-eq is compatible with…