SA taking bold steps to fight climate change
South Africa has taken bold steps to fight climate change, says Environmental Affairs Minister Edna Molewa.
“Three years ago renewable energy projects were small and lacking investment, today there is rapid uptake of large-scale renewable energy technologies through the Renewable Energy Independent Power Purchase Programme (REIPPP),” Minister Molewa said.
“So far under the REIPPP programme, 3 933 MW have already been procured.”
The REIPPP programme was aimed at contributing to the country’s energy supply.
Minister Molewa said South Africa was greening its cities, with a wide range of actions, including reducing energy load in buildings, creating a recycling economy, and restoring wetlands that protect precious water resources.
She was speaking at the opening of the 2014 National Climate Change Dialogue in Midrand on Monday.
“Through our national Green Fund, we have adopted an innovative approach to catalysing investment in green programmes,” she said.
Presenting key milestones of South Africa's journey and responses towards a lower carbon and climate-resilient economy, Minister Molewa said South Africa had a National Climate Change Response Policy which charts the course for actions that are both developmental and transformational.
She said the country was working hard to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
“Extensive work has been done, jointly with business and industry, to analyse the emission reduction potential in key economic sectors, and to understand the social and economic opportunities and impacts of reducing emissions,” Minister Molewa said.
South Africa has also adopted the National Green Economy Strategy which provides the strategic directive to grow economic activity in the green industry sector, so as to attract investment, create jobs and improve competitiveness.
The strategy also provides direction for transitioning existing economic sectors towards cleaner, low-carbon industries with sustained socio-economic benefits and low environmental impact.
“South Africa’s approach is one of promoting sustainable development by prioritising climate change responses that have significant mitigation benefits and have significant economic growth, job creation and poverty alleviation benefits,” Minister Molewa said. – SAnews.gov.za
Photo Caption: Environmental Affairs Minister Edna Molewa says that South Africa needs to fight climate change. Photo courtesy of www.infrastructurene.ws
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