Climate change is undeniable. Climate action is unstoppable. And climate solutions provide opportunities that are unmatchable." So said UN secretary-general António Guterres in 2017. In 2018, SA may have a legal basis for the unstoppable. We need to get our climate law right, in order to benefit from the unmatchable opportunities. The Climate Change Bill that has been published for public comment means we will soon have a legal basis for climate action. That in itself is a very positive step forward. The devil, however, is in the details. The question is whether this bill provides the best possible basis for fair and ambitious climate action. What SA really needs is a "fair and ambitious bill" that goes further than mere effective co-ordination within government. One crucial element is the legal basis for carbon budgets, which limit the greenhouse gases major emitting companies can release. They are time-bound, with the bill providing for three five-year periods. That makes good sen...

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