Long Term Mitigation Scenarios Technical Summary

"Climate change and its projected impacts provide a powerful reminder of why we are engaging in the Long-Term Mitigation Scenario process in the first place. The IPCC recently concluded that significant, predominantly negative impacts on human society and its supporting agro- and natural ecosystems are projected with medium to high confidence over the course of this century, especially in Africa. The impacts study conducted as part of this process reiterates the multiple impacts that South Africa will very likely face, if we and the rest of the world do not take action. It is important to point out that the approach in this study may significantly underestimate the risks of larger impacts due to the uncertainty inherent in the climate sensitivity. The climate modelling studies project a range of possible scenarios and impacts in South Africa, given the uncertainties in global greenhouse gas emissions scenarios and in the response of the climate system. Some of these projected impacts are alarming and of immediate societal relevance – for example, a projected change in available water supply and its predictability in South Africa would have major implications in most sectors of the economy, but especially for urban and agricultural demands. In addition, the immediate health impacts of extreme climatic events on rural livelihoods, in particular, are well established and documented. Production and income activities are likely to be significantly affected by climate change and increased climate variability by ~ 2050 at least, particularly in rural areas."