President Cyril Ramaphosa at SONA2020 in the National assembly. Picture: ESA ALEXANDER / SUNDAY TIMES
President Cyril Ramaphosa at SONA2020 in the National assembly. Picture: ESA ALEXANDER / SUNDAY TIMES

SA will finalise a climate change bill “shortly” as it embarks on a low-carbon growth trajectory, President Cyril Ramaphosa says. 

Delivering the state of the nation address in parliament on Thursday evening, Ramaphosa said the presidential commission on climate change will ensure that as the country moves towards a low-carbon growth trajectory no-one is left behind.

The bill will provide a regulatory framework for the effective management of “inevitable climate change impacts by enhancing adaptive capacity, strengthening resilience and reducing vulnerability to climate change — and identifying new industrial opportunities in the green economy,” Ramaphosa said.

There have been growing calls for businesses and individuals to reduce their greenhouse emissions amid mounting evidence of climate change and the threat it poses to humankind, including freshwater shortages, climate instability and famine. 

In 2019 Ramaphosa signed into law the carbon tax bill which is meant to compel businesses and individuals to reduce their greenhouse emissions. The tax penalises large emitters of greenhouse gases as countries move to meet the global climate change targets set in Paris in 2015.

According to a recent report by the IMF, a carbon tax is the best way to cut greenhouse gas emissions, as it allows for a reduction in energy consumption, favours cleaner energies and provides much-needed revenues, which could be used to finance sustainable and more inclusive growth.

phakathib@businesslive.co.za

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