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The Heat is On: Local Government and Climate Resilient Development in South Africa. Prof. Anél du Plessis NMMU – November 2012 Faculty of Law North-West University, Potchefstroom [email protected] Outline. Climate change – does it matter whether it matters?
Prof. Anél du Plessis
NMMU – November 2012
Faculty of Law North-West University, Potchefstroom
Calls in literature that the world stops questioning as a matter of principle the “existence” and “causes” of climate change but instead invests energy and money in the visible occurring changes in our environments and in scientifically sound modelling and projections on the changes to come.Does it matter whether climate change matters?
The world needs to look forward: whether or not “climate change” exists – we need to deal with unsustainable life on earth.
Attempts to address “climate change” must be seen as attempts to fast-track the journey towards sustainable development.
Adjustments and reactions in natural or human systems in response to actual or expected climatic stimuli and their effects
(Lin, J 2009)
Requisite threshold: “limiting the human causes of climate change as much and as soon as possible” (Erens S et al 2009)
Monitoring and assessment of measures to reduce GHG emissions
Effective management of inevitable climate change impacts through interventions that build and sustain SA’s social, economic and environmental resilience and capacity to respond
Why is responding to climate change relevant for local government in SA?
Schedule 4B and 5B of the Constitution – items relevant for CC – speak to ‘subsidiarity’
Localised impacts of climate change
“Developmental local government” vis-a-vis“service delivery arm of government”
International directions: ICLEI CCCP Programme etc.
Municipalities have legislative and executive powers – enable localised responses
Role of LG in responding to climate change widely recognised internationally (UN, UNFCCC, COP 1 + etc) – but not well-defined!
To what extent is it (normatively speaking), possible for municipalities to contribute to ‘climate resilient development’ through the existing legal framework?
Local Government Law
Ss 24, 27
Sectoral & other e-laws
Other LG laws
Mandatory & voluntary planning
(strategic, spatial and other types of planning)
Programmes allowing for innovation
Discretionary / compulsory institutional set-up in & involving municipalities
Several climate change related developments also in the cities of Johannesburg , Cape Town etc!
< Mostly programmatic developments>