Thursday, October 21, 2021

South Africa promises more ambitious climate goals

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South Africa has pledged more ambitious emissions targets, a move that was welcomed by climate activists. The South African government says it will aim to limit greenhouse gas emissions to no more than 510 million metric tons of carbon dioxide by 2025 and no more than 420 million tons by 2030. The new goal represents a significantly lower ceiling compared to its 2016 previous goal of pushing emissions below 614 million tons in the coming decade

The new targets mean South Africa’s emissions will decline in absolute terms beginning in 2025, a decade earlier than planned, according to the World Resources Institute, a Washington-based environmental think tank.

The lower end of the target range was also shifted, from 398 million tons of carbon dioxide by 2030 to 350 million tons.

“South Africa’s new climate commitment is much more ambitious than what the country put forward five years ago when the Paris Agreement was struck,” said Helen Mountford, vice president for climate & economics at the WRI.

South Africa aims to ramp up its use of renewable energy and phase out coal power, while preparing better for the impacts of climate change, such as drought.

She added that the country’s updated targets are more in line with the global goal of limiting worldwide temperature increase to 1.5 degrees Celsius (2.7 Fahrenheit) by the end of the century compared to pre-industrial times.

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