Paris Agreement South Africa

The Paris Agreement and South Africa: What You Need to Know

The Paris Agreement is a landmark international agreement that seeks to combat climate change and limit global warming. The agreement was adopted by 195 countries at the 21st Conference of the Parties (COP21) of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) in Paris, France, in 2015. South Africa was one of the signatories to the Paris Agreement, and the country has taken significant steps to implement the agreement`s objectives.

What is the Paris Agreement?

The Paris Agreement aims to keep global warming well below 2 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels, with a target of limiting warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius. To achieve this goal, the agreement sets out a framework for all countries to take action to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Each country submits a nationally determined contribution (NDC) outlining its plan to reduce emissions, and these plans are updated every five years. The agreement also includes provisions for financial support and technology transfer to help developing countries reduce their emissions and adapt to the impacts of climate change.

South Africa`s Commitment to the Paris Agreement

South Africa submitted its NDC to the UNFCCC in 2016, setting a target to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 34% below business-as-usual levels by 2020, and by 42% below business-as-usual levels by 2025. The country has also committed to transitioning to a low-carbon, climate-resilient economy by 2050. To achieve these targets, South Africa has implemented a range of measures, including:

– Increasing the use of renewable energy: South Africa has set a target of generating 17,800 MW of renewable energy by 2030. The country has already made significant progress towards this goal, with over 6,500 MW of renewable energy capacity installed as of 2021.

– Promoting energy efficiency: South Africa has implemented a number of programmes to encourage energy efficiency, including the Energy Efficiency Demand Side Management Programme, the Industrial Energy Efficiency Improvement Project, and the Municipal Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy Project.

– Implementing carbon pricing: South Africa has implemented a carbon tax on greenhouse gas emissions from certain sectors, which came into effect on 1 June 2019. The tax aims to incentivise companies to reduce their emissions and invest in cleaner technologies.

– Adapting to the impacts of climate change: South Africa has developed a National Climate Change Adaptation Strategy, which outlines measures to help the country adapt to the impacts of climate change, such as increased droughts, floods, and heatwaves.


The Paris Agreement represents a significant step forward in global efforts to combat climate change. South Africa has made a strong commitment to implementing the agreement`s objectives, and has taken significant steps to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and transition to a low-carbon economy. However, there is still much more work to be done to meet the Paris Agreement`s ambitious goals, and it is important that all countries continue to work together to address the urgent threat of climate change.