South Africa – National Development Plan: Vision for 2030
South Africa’s National Development Plan: Vision for 2030 aims to eliminate poverty and reduce inequality by 2030. It intends to realize these goals by drawing on the energies of its people, growing an inclusive economy, building capabilities, enhancing the capacity of the state, and promoting leadership and partnerships throughout society.
With regards to climate change, the National Development Plan contains several sustainable environment aims, stating that “developmental challenges must be addressed in a manner that ensures environmental sustainability and builds resilience to the effects of climate change, particularly in poorer communities”.
It recognizes that “emissions of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases are changing the earth’s climate, potentially imposing a significant global cost that will fall disproportionately on the poor”.
Rising temperatures, more erratic rainfall and extreme weather events are likely to take a heavy toll on Africa, with an increased spread of tropical diseases and growing losses (human and financial) from droughts and flooding. Climate change has the potential to reduce food production and the availability of potable water, with consequences for migration patterns and levels of conflict.
South Africa is not only a contributor to greenhouse gas emissions – it is also particularly vulnerable to the effects of climate change on health, livelihoods, water and food, with a disproportionate impact on the poor, especially women and children. While adapting to these changes, industries and households have to reduce their negative impact on the environment. This will require far-reaching changes to the way people live and work.
The impact of climate change is global in scope and global solutions must be found, with due consideration to regional and national conditions.