Implementation of Climate Change White Paper: progress report

Water and Sanitation

14 November 2012
Chairperson: Mr J De Lange (ANC)
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Meeting Summary

The Department of Environmental Affairs (DEA) briefed the Committee on the implementation of the Climate Change White Paper. Issues covered in the briefing included objectives set out in the National Climate Change Response Policy, a re-cap of the Committee public hearings in June 2012, an overview of the expected deliverables, the approach to implementation, thematic areas (mitigation, adaptation and monitoring and evaluation) and institutional arrangements.

Members raised questions around flagships, tools for mitigation, institutional arrangements, funding which was central and carbon taxing. Other concerns related to municipalities, transversal management, the South African Weather Service (SAWS), Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) and awareness raising.

Meeting report

National Climate Change Response Implementation Framework
Ms Judy Beaumont, DEA Deputy Director-General for Climate Change, introduced the delegation from the Department and gave an overview of the presentation. This included
objectives set out in the National Climate Change Response Policy, a re-cap on the Committee hearings in June 2012, an overview of the expected deliverables, the approach to implementation, thematic areas (mitigation, adaptation and monitoring and evaluation) and institutional arrangements.

She began by explaining the objectives of the national climate change response policy were to
manage inevitable climate change impacts through interventions that built resilience and emergency response capacity and to make a fair contribution to the global effort to stabilize Green House Gas (GHG) concentrations.

Recapping the adaptation programmes, she said in Agriculture,
there was landcare, a sector plan, an atlas on Climate Change (CC) and research. From Water Affairs there was water conservation and demand management, CC was embedded in integrated water resource management and pilot regions for detailed CC assessment. From the South African Weather Service (SAWS) there was forecasting, early warning and research. From the National Disaster Management sector, there were disaster management plans and partnering with SAWS. From the Department of Cooperative Governance there was mainstreaming of Disaster Risk Reduction (DRR) and CC adaptation in planning and a Let’s Respond” Toolkit. From DEA there was Working For Water and Fire, vulnerability assessments of SA biomes, a set of existing policy / planning tools and an ecosystem based adaptation. DEA established there should be a common set of climate scenarios, impact scenarios in key sectors and a need to assess costs and agree adaptation responses per sector.

Recapping the mitigation programmes she explained they had heard from Treasury on the carbon tax, from the Department of Energy on the Integrated Resource Plan (
IRP) (2010) and 17.8GW of renewables by 2030, the Integrated Energy Planning process, Solar Park pre-feasibility, liquid biofuels, the SA renewables initiative and the Energy Efficiency Strategy and Demand Side Management. From Trade and Industry there was the Industrial Policy Action Plan (IPAP), local content requirements in Renewable Energy (RE), building regulations and a National Cleaner Production Centre. They had also heard from Transport and Human Settlements. DEA noted there should be an assessment of the mitigation potential, assess costs / benefits, agreed Desired Emission Reduction Outcomes (DEROs) and mix of measures to achieve DEROs and mainstream in sector plans.

In reply to the Chairperson asking where flagships fitted in, Ms Beaumont said this would be discussed later in the presentation.

Key points arising from the June hearings:
▪ General:
- Seek an integrated approach to mitigation and adaptation
- Develop an overall framework for implementation that shows the roles and responsibilities of all players
- Departments presented full programs.  Aim for more specificity on climate change outcomes.
▪ Adaptation: actions are currently adhoc and need to be more strategic, planned and targeted.
▪ Mitigation: further work needed to clarify the relationship between the work on mitigation potential, the flagship programmes, and monitoring and evaluation
▪ Resource mobilisation: further work required to unpack funding flows for climate change response
▪ Adaptation: Programmes need to use a common set of climate scenarios, and likely impact scenarios, and build in system for monitoring impact & outcome
▪ Mitigation: Programmes need to contribute to a single agreed set of desired emission reduction outcomes (DEROs); and contribute to single system for measure outcome (emission reductions)
▪ Climate change response flagships: accredited on the basis of an agreed set of criteria, foundation of the national collective response to climate change
▪ Monitoring and evaluation: coherent system to monitor outcome of collective response

She look at the efforts of a national climate change response in terms of
adaptation, mitigation, monitoring and evaluation, and climate change flagships (see document).

NCCRP deliverables within 2 years
 Ms Beaumont explained the National Climate Change Response Policy (NCCRP) deliverables:
- For mitigation: a desired emission reduction outcomes will be defined and a carbon budget will be drawn up, for relevant economic sectors.
- For adaptation: climate risk analysis undertaken on all sectoral plans. This would result in: (i) the identification and prioritisation of key short and medium term adaptation interventions that must be addressed in sector plans; (ii) the identification of adaptation responses that required co-ordination between specific sectors and / or departments and to develop and pilot a methodology to downscale climate information and comprehensive impact assessments to specific geographical areas.

In reply to the Chairperson asking where the tools for mitigation where and why they were not part of deliverables, Ms Beaumont replied it would be discussed by another DEA delegate.

The Chairperson asked what “down-scale” meant. Ms Beaumont replied it meant bringing the global level predictions down to a national and more local level. The Chairperson felt the word “down-scale” caused confusion when it was better to say it as Ms Beaumont had explained it.

- For monitoring and evaluation, a draft climate change response monitoring and evaluation system will be designed and published and the emissions inventory will be a web-based GHG emission reporting system and it will form part of the National Atmospheric Emission Inventory. It will be developed, tested and commissioned.
- For policy review: “all government departments and state owned enterprises will need to review the policies, strategies, legislation, regulations and plans falling within their jurisdiction, to ensure full alignment with the National Climate Change Response, within two years of the publication of this policy”.

The Chairperson questioned institutions under monitoring and evaluation. He felt the institutional arrangement was at the heart of the programme. He said he had a conceptual problem. The Chairperson felt the thinking of the Department needed to be made clearer as this was important as they were the lead Department on these matters. Ms Beaumont agreed.

On adaptation and mitigation, Ms Beaumont spoke about the flagships, plan, implementation, and mainstreaming through sector policy review (see document):

On institutional arrangements and coordination of technical work, she reported that the technical working groups were up and running, the adaptation working groups and mitigation technical working groups had also held meetings. Sector departments were also included.

Monitoring and Evaluation

 Mr Brian Mantlana DEA Specialist Advisor: Monitoring and Evaluation, gave a summary of the deliverables required by the NCCRP:
- Adaptation: establish a monitoring system for gathering information and reporting progress on the implementation of adaptation actions, and to assess the effectiveness of adaptation responses;
- Mitigation:
collect, analyse and report data to monitor the outcome of specific mitigation actions and to monitor the collective outcome of all mitigation actions.
- Flagship programmes: monitor and evaluate the effectiveness of the implementation of Near-term Priority Flagship Programmes using an annual reporting process

He said the work will consist of the preparatory phase (mapping of the status quo of monitoring and reporting of mitigation actions), the design of the draft national monitoring and evaluation system (framework), updating of the content and architecture of the National Climate Change Response Database (web-based data-capturing system) and sub-sector trends analyses from the updated GHG inventory and also from the updated database.

The immediate deliverables for 2012-2014 were a draft of SA’s Climate Change Response monitoring and evaluation System (Framework) - to be finalised by October 2013, the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) Biennial Update Report - to be submitted by December 2014, an up-to-date monitoring system for gathering information and reporting progress of the implementation of mitigation and adaptation actions and the scope and approach to undertake work on the Third National Communication.

Implementation progress
▪ Updating the NCCR Database involved a web-based system for gathering information and reporting progress on the implementation of mitigation and adaptation actions.
This work will include gathering information on ‘new’ mitigation and adaptation initiatives that were not included in the current version of the NCCR database, collecting methodological information associated with the mitigation and adaptation programmes and projects and identifying research that had been undertaken since 2000 that focused on climate change mitigation and adaptation.

▪ Designing and developing the Climate Change Monitoring and Evaluation System. He said this work will be the description of - what the system would do, where do we get that information from, how do we get that information and outputs and communication of the analyses from that information. The Department was currently consulting the stakeholders on Terms of Reference for undertaking this exercise.

▪ Drafting the Third National Communication (due for submission June 2016) and the Biennial Update Report (due for submission December 2014) and currently followed GEF and the UN Environmental Programme (UNEP) procedures to access funding for the drafting of these documents.

Mr Mantlana
listed the c ollaborations happening with the Department of Energy (DoE), Department of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries (DAFF), National Treasury and Department of Transport.

Climate Change Response Flagship Programmes
 Mr Mantlana skipped skipped over Long-term Adaptation Scenarios and discussed the climate change response flagship programmes. “A set of near-term Priority Flagship Programmes will be implemented as an integral part of the policy, informed by (1) the urgency of acting on mitigation and adaptation responses and (2) the fact that many sectors had already researched and had experience in implementing policies and measures to address the challenges of climate change.

On the implementation progress of flagships, he said the mapping exercise of near-term priority flagship programmes (mitigation and adaptation) included:
- the status quo
provision of the design, development and implementation of these flagship programmes,
- a description of what constitutes a flagship programme. For example it
should have a significant mitigation/adaptation impact, should be programmatic, should be at a national or at least provincial scale, and should be of a certain readiness - the programme must have a clearly defined plan for implementation and should have institutional coherence or a clear implementing agency or central coordination mechanism.

Progress on Climate Change Adaptation
Mr Tsepho Moremi, DEA Chief Director: Adaptation, looked at the purpose and key elements of the Long-Term Adaptation scenarios (LTAs). The intention was to project and evaluate the socio-economic and environmental implications of potential impacts of anticipated climate change and climate variability, and the adaptation response options available, for identified sectors in South Africa over short (next decade, 2025) medium (next two to three decades, 2050) and long term (mid-century to end of century). Key elements of the LTAs were: climate change scenarios; climate change impacts scenarios; adaptation response options and opportunities; the economic modelling of impacts costs and avoided damages of adaptation;
spatially explicit products on the South African Risk and Vulnerability Atlas (SARVA) platform that synthesized adaptation guidelines and potential adaptation response plans and made them available at all three spatial scales; and sub-regional assessment.

Mr Moremi said the LTAS would contribute to planning and development processes by informing all stakeholders (National, Provincial, Local and business) of:
the possible risks (as far as possible, in economic terms) due to climate change to key sectors and resources over short, medium and long term;
the location and time-frames over which risks due to climate change became material for key sectors
the implications of unfolding risks for development aspirations;
the costs, benefits and feasibility of adaptation responses to offset material risks and maintain development aspirations;
the cross-sectoral implications of risks and adaptation responses to offset these and in addition,
start to inform the stakeholders of their potential roles in developing an effective and integrated response to climate change risk management, and to engage in developing guidelines for climate change risk management that were cognisant of current vulnerabilities and future development aspirations.

He said funding had been secured from the
German Development Organisation, GIZ, to conduct phase one of the LTAS. Implementation and governance structures were in place and operational. This included the Adaptation Technical Working Group (TWG) with links to the Inter-Governmental Committee on Climate Change (IGCCC) and the National Committee on Climate Change (NCCC), Project Steering Committee and the Project Management Team. There was also the TWG and specialist Task Team work in progress while climate scenarios for 2050 and 2100 were due for completion.

Mr Guy Midgley, Chief Director: South African National Biodiversity Institute (SANBI), elaborated on the adaptation and climate scenarios being done by two teams. The scenarios were used to work out the direct impact sectors and economic implications. It also allowed for a greater understanding of adaptation and avoided damage. He indicated the integrated work done with Treasury in looking at infrastructure, transport, agriculture and water and areas of big economic impact. Treasury would be looking at climate impact models parallel to DEA’s own models but in an aligned manner. He highlighted the mutually beneficial relationship with Treasury and the DEA.

Mr Moremi turned to policy review, saying the intention of the policy alignment process as set out in section 10.1 of the policy was - to mainstream climate-resilient development, all government departments and state-owned enterprises will need to review their policies, strategies, legislation, regulations and plans falling within their jurisdiction to ensure full alignment with the National Climate Change Response within two years of the publication of this policy. On the basis of the outcome of these reviews, government will determine what adjustments need to be made to achieve alignment with the goals and objectives of the National Climate Change Response, and will identify any additional legislative or regulatory measures needed.

Policy review work was underway to:
- Identify and assess all policies, legislation, strategies and plans relevant to developing a climate change adaptation response; 
- Identify the development goals and objectives and the policies, legislation, strategies and plans that define the development trajectory of each sector;
- Outline the development trajectory of each sector with reference to climate change;
- Identify the key indicators (such as food security, water security, land use) for assessing the development trajectory of each sector with or without climate change;
- Identify current opportunities, challenges and constraints;
- The report will provide recommendations to optimise policy coherence within sectors and across sectors.

He emphasised that the work would be completed at the end of the third quarter. This work will optimise policy coherence and synergy within sectors and across sectors, and to ensure consistency. This work will result in the integration of adaptation strategies in key sector plans and the National Sustainable Agenda.

All sector departments identified by the policy were part of the Adaptation Technical Working meetings
to give guidance and facilitate necessary shifts in approach (LTAs, Policy Review and Flagships). He listed the collaborations with Department of Water (DWA), SANBI, National Disaster Management Centre (NDMC),  South African Local Government Association (SALGA) and DCOG in assisting local government to mainstream climate change into their Integrated Development Plans (IDPs) (see document).

Mitigation – Implementation Progress
Ms Deborah Ramalope, DEA Chief Director: Mitigation, explained
mitigation mapping as the mapping of research information, institutions and instruments relevant to the mitigation elements of the NCCRP as part of a background document. The grouping of sectors, for which mitigation potential will be assessed, included business, responsible government and task teams.

Ms Ramalope said the desired emission reduction outcomes (DEROs) for October 2013
included the assessment of mitigation potential and opportunities, projection of National GHG emissions into the future, identification and analysis of mitigation opportunities in key sectors of the economy and the socio-economic and environmental assessment of the identified mitigation options. The progress was made with the inception report, draft report (end of January 2013) and the final report (end May 2013)

On carbon tax - carbon budget interface, an analysis of the different policy approaches and interfaces between the carbon budget and carbon tax instrument which was currently underway. The national carbon sinks assessment was to assess the current national carbon sinks related to afforestation, forest restoration, wetlands, agricultural practice, bio-fuels, biomass, urban greening and all significant changes in land use, and to quantify the potential future carbon sinks under varying climate change scenarios and land use change. South Africa’s 2050 pathways calculator was a simple tool to demonstrate different emissions pathways and to communicate to non-experts. The Department was currently finalising an MoU with UK Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC).

She said projects with other departments included the Department of Energy (
DoE) on the energy efficiency strategy, to reduce emissions, an Integrated Energy Plan and a Renewable Energy Independent Power Producer Programme (REIPPP) noting the first bid process for this programme was closed. Work was also being done with National Treasury on a carbon tax policy paper.

The Chairperson felt that the graphs and tables of the Department were useful for conceptualising. He struggled to see what the various individual departments were doing except for what was presented by DEA as collective actions. This needed to be sharpened. The weaknesses were in institutional arrangements, where institutions fitted in holistically and from where research flowed. Funding issues needed to be worked in better. The problem was that different members of the Department did their own presentations and when putting it all together, the holistic picture was not conveyed as clearly as it could be. He emphasised things needed to be looked at holistically.

Mr S Huang (ANC) agreed with the points raised by the Chairperson, especially on funding issues. He questioned who was responsible for funding matters. He asked about carbon tax and the detail of the Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) signed with the UK. He felt the matter of carbon tax was very important.

Ms B Ferguson (COPE) said it was a really good presentation but she was concerned about funding and the MOU on carbon tax. She asked about municipalities and the plan to get them on board.

Mr Morgan appreciated the presentation. He was happy there generally seemed to be a plan from the Department. He asked to what extent the report represented a real buy-in from government. He noted the mitigation for climate change, even in the medium term, was in the context of an economy that was seriously struggling, of significant wage inflation and job losses. He foresaw there would be clashes between DEA and other departments on this and questioned if the DEA had given hard thought to the harsh realities of working with other departments, noting the difficulties of transversal management even on a global level. He foresaw big problems down the line given the idealistic way the report was presented. He wanted a SWOT analysis of the DEA’s own process going forward. He did welcome the work being done by the Department’s teams in bringing other government stakeholders on board.

Ms C Zikalala (IFP) said the presentation was clear and easy to follow. She wanted the Department to explain the major role played by SAWS toward climate change. She asked how the Department could summarise climate change, in a simple form, what was and would be happening to the layman and people who were really affected by climate change. She questioned the role played by Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) in relation to climate change.

Ms M Wenger (DA) asked if there was a reason why Treasury was using its own scenarios instead of the scenarios of the DEA. She questioned the criteria on which the 20 municipalities were selected and how they fitted into this particular programme.

Mr J Skosana (ANC) felt that awareness should be a continuous thing as was expressed in the run up to COP17. Communities needed awareness about “greening”. He did not get a real sense of the input by other departments and wanted clarity on this. He wanted more information on provincial and local government efforts on climate change.

Ms Beaumont noted the team had worked incredibly hard the past year to achieve the progress made and welcomed the acknowledgment by the Committee. Three of the key areas that needed strengthening were overall institutional arrangements across government, funding and working with Treasury.

The Chairperson felt funding was the central point as without money all the programmes created could not go ahead. Asking for money should be the most centralised issue of all. The matter should be processed centrally and funded centrally. An honest discussion on the funding of climate change was needed with Treasury being involved in a collective process. Funding decisions needed to be made collectively.

Ms Beaumont agreed and said international donor funding was not great, so funding from the fiscus would become more critical. She noted the envisaging of a steering committee with all the relevant departments on flagship programmes. A national framework for response was needed to respond to climate change. There was a detailed spreadsheet outlining the programmes the Department was involved in although it was still a work in progress. Looking at municipalities, metros in particular were running with important work. She noted the slow and iterative process to get local authorities and provinces on board with this national framework. Members were invited to a session that showcased the work being done by local governments. In terms of the SWOT analysis, she noted it was a national effort but a key challenge was that it was complex, involved different spheres of government and needed to meet a tight deadline. DEA needed to use the institutional framework fully with other departments, industry and parastatals. There were opportunities such as what was outlined in the National Development Plan and collaborations to come out of COP17. The work was tough to carry out in a fiscally constraining environment. In terms of awareness raising and communication, it had not been easy and the Department had been slightly more silent this year but next year the communication would be firmed up, refined and more rigorous. DEA was looking toward a climate change conference next year to show all the work of the sectors.

Mr Moremi said the key work of SAWS was to do with the early warning system, predictions and forewarning the public even through systems like SMSs on storm warnings as seen in Kwazulu-Natal. SAWS was important for the recording of historical and current data and monitoring. The selection of municipalities was contentious and not all of them can be done but the process was carried out jointly with SALGA and DCOG. One of the main criteria used was environmental vulnerability. In future this would be done on a full scale.

Ms Ramalope replied on carbon tax noting the EU emissions trading scheme for aviation was to be suspended at least for a year. There were many gaps that needed to be looked at such as a detailed analysis of the impacted sectors.

Mr Moremi said there was no duplication on the climate change scenarios between the Department and Treasury.

Mr Mantlana said the GHG inventory was being explained to local governments through a fully fledged programme.

Government’s mandate for COP18 (closed to public)
The Chairperson noted the last session of the meeting would be closed to the public as the Committee would be briefed on the government’s mandate for COP18. He said this could not be made public so that whatever strategic and other advantages were not compromised.

Budgetary Review and Recommendation Report
He had received a letter from the ANC programming whip requesting removal of one of the Committee recommendations in its Budgetary Review and Recommendation Report. The recommendation on performance indicator targets was deemed to be a breach of the separation of powers. He would be writing a reply stating the Committee declined as the recommendation was fully in line with the work of the Committee.

Mr G Morgan (DA) supported this and said he could not see anything in the Committee’s recommendation that would “compel” the Executive to do anything. He found this “over-reach” by the programming whip and felt it could easily be argued this was the constitutional duty of the legislature to hold the executive to account.

The Chairperson agreed. The executive could ignore the recommendations of the Committee at their peril but it was an issue of interaction of holding the executive to account. He thought perhaps the recommendation was not read in the right way.

The meeting was adjourned.


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