Dr. Kola Odeku and Prof. Edson Meyer
The impacts of climate change are now visible all over the world. Scientific evidence had confirmed that African continent would be worst hit. South Africa, a developing country in Africa is the most industrialized and electrified, its economic growth has clearly brought substantial benefits to the poor. However, this would not have been possible without increase access to energy consumption. Energy is sourced mainly from coal and it is used to power the industry and generate electricity. This activity ranked South Africa as the highest emitter of carbon dioxide in African continent. The immediate and long-term impacts of climate change are threatening social and economic progress. Such impacts are already being felt in a number of real and recognizable ways in the country. Climate change is now affecting the wild life, ecosystem, agriculture and there is sea level rise around coast of Cape Town and other predicted impacts. It is against this back drop that bold steps are now being taken to strengthening mitigation and adaptation in order to evolve long-term framework to promote the transition to lower-carbon economies needed to address global climate change. Coming up with policies to tackle change is important. But making them a reality through implementation and accountability is what counts. it is in this regard that South African government is vigorously implementing climate change adaptation and mitigation through policy, legal, institutional interventions.
Consequently, the government is now currently promoting the use of renewable energy and energy efficiency. There is now a White Paper on renewable energy which sets an ambitious programme for the use of renewable energy such as biomass, solar system, small hydro generator. Energy from these sources are clean, accessible, affordable and do not emit carbon dioxide. Also, the use of energy efficiently is vigorously being promoted. Towards this end, the government has consistently promoting energy efficiency technologies particular in the industry, also different lighting bulbs that are efficient are been promoted in the household. The government is doing everything possible, especially through monitoring to ensure that all the measures put in place are followed toward realisation of clean environment. Similarly, different measures are being put in place to adapt to impacts of climate change. Towards this end, there have been massive networking between South Africa and a lot of Scientists and Engineers on training of know-how to be able adjust to prompt impacts of climate change in case it manifest. Government has now come to recognize the negative consequences of decades of a ”grow now, clean up later” approach, steps are also being taken to address air, water, and land pollution and to manage the natural resources more sustainably. Governments now want to ensure that economic growth, resource management, and climate change mitigation and adaptation can all happen at the same time.