Long Term Mitigation Scenarios Technical Report
"South Africa is an active participant in the international process of combating climate change and regulating the emissions of greenhouse gases. We are signatories to the United Nations Framework Convention on climate change as well as the Kyoto Protocol. We take the issue of climate change very seriously and have shown world leadership in the UN negotiations. Our actions must also speak as loudly as our words in the negotiations: we need to show leadership by example. This we can do by preparing a course of action for our country. The link between our own emissions and climate change impacts is indirect. Compared to our own emissions, the emissions of larger economies are far more significant to the climate change impacts which South Africa will suffer. However South Africa will not be able to influence the emissions reduction efforts of those countries without a reduction plan of its own which is respected as appropriate and real. Yet there is, an indirect, but very powerful connection – if we do not act, others are less likely to act and ultimately impacts will affect everyone. Under the Kyoto Protocol, at least until 2012, we, together with most developing countries, have no binding greenhouse gas mitigation obligations. However this is likely to change some time after 2012, and means that at some point South Africa will be required to start cutting its emissions. South Africa is in fact already formulating plans to reduce GHG emissions."