The 22nd of April 2016 saw South Africa sign the Paris Agreement on Climate Change and thereafter undergo a process of domesticating the agreement into South African law. This process is called ratification, and an instrument of ratification will be deposited in the UN depository. This instrument will communicate South Africa’s consent to be bound by the Paris Agreement, as well as the steps that South Africa has taken to domesticate the agreement. On 27 May 2016, Project 90 by 2030, in collaboration with the CPLO, held a roundtable discussion on “South Africa’s International Obligations: The Domestication of the Paris Agreement”. Domestication of the agreement is yet to be defined, and the impacts are far-reaching, so the purpose of this roundtable was to unpack the ratification process of such multilateral environmental agreements and to provide insight into their implications for South Africa. Mr Happy Khambhule from Project 90 by 2030 gave an introduction to the Paris Agreement and the ratification process; Ms Olivia Rumble from ENSAfrica explored ways in which the domestication process may proceed in South Africa and whether the country should consider enacting legislation that is specific to climate change; Mr Goosain Isaacs, representing the Western Cape Government, informed us of the process of development, implementation and co-ordination of provincial climate change mitigation and adaptation policies, programmes and projects. A key input at the discussion had to do with the urgency of deciding which route South Africa would take regarding domestication of the Paris Agreement, and in implementing other climate change interventions.
Standing: Fr Matsepane Morare (Moderator, CPLO); Ms Palesa Ngwenya (Researcher, CPLO); Ms Tina Schubert (Policy and Research Manager, Project 90 by 2030. Seated: Mr Goosain Isaacs; Mr Olivia Rumble; Mr Happy Khambhule
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