The DA welcomes the commitment made by Minister Barbara Creecy today to look into including a climate financing mechanism as part of the Climate Change Bill. The bill is currently before the portfolio committee on Forestry, Fisheries and the Environment after going through public hearings in the nine provinces.
The latest agreement by the Minister follows a recommendation by DA members serving on the committee. It has been the DA’s position that many of the goals of the Climate Change Bill, including obligations for municipalities will be rendered meaningless if there is not a clear path towards ensuring that the requisite finances are provided. For any significant legislative measures, especially those as critical as the Climate Change Bill, to be effectively implemented, they must be paired with a well-structured and robust financing mechanism.
Climate change is among the most pressing challenges of our time, and South Africa, as a developing nation with a rich natural heritage and biodiversity, has a responsibility to approach this issue with the seriousness and commitment it demands. It is therefore vital that the policies and legislative frameworks we put in place are not just visionary in content, but also pragmatic in terms of implementation. The ongoing freak climate events in South Africa and abroad only serve to further highlight the urgency of the challenges we face.
That said, the DA is committed to ensuring that the Climate Change Bill does not have unintended financial implications, taking into consideration the precarious economic and social conditions in our country. Climate change mitigation and adaptation strategies can and must work to grow our economy, whilst helping to protect us from future climate risks.