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Joining the global effort to fight climate change: South Africa at COP27 – the 27th Conference of Parties

Joining the world to fight climate change… South Africa at COP27. The 27th Conference of the Parties of the UNFCCC is currently underway in the Republic of Egypt, running from the 6th of November to the 18th of November 2022. #cop27 #climatechange #esg

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The global effort to fight climate change continues at the 27th Conference of the Parties of the UNFCCC (COP27) is currently underway in the Republic of Egypt, running from the 6th of November to the 18th of November 2022. Even in the face of present geopolitical tensions, unimaginable disruption of global trade and supply chains, unwieldly inflation, add to this a food and energy crisis, hopes are very high for South Africa at COP27, generally dubbed as an ‘African COP’. COP27 is viewed globally as being for implementation of climate pledges and goals, bridging the gap between plans and intention and actual climate deliverables.

South Africa at COP27: Goals and expectations as we join the world to fight climate change

Speaking to various stakeholders from Midrand on 24 October 2022, Minister of Environment, Forestry and Fisheries, Barbara Creecy, put forward South Africa’s negotiating mandate for COP27. As a nation, we negotiate as part of the G77 and China, and Africa Group of Negotiators (AGN), with South Africa taking the lead on several key themes on behalf of the G77 and the AGN. Key concerns raised by Minster Creecy include the following:
  1. Developed nations must honour commitments made in terms of the COP26 Glasgow Climate Pact and not ‘back track’. The COP26 Glasgow Climate Pact upheld in the year prescribes that the goal of limiting planetary warming to 1.5˚C requires a 45% reduction in global CO2 emissions by 2030 relative to 2010 levels.
    To this end, the Pact settled to create a “work programme to urgently scale up mitigation ambition and implementation in this critical decade”.
  2. Climate Justice in Transition – it is critical that South Africa is able to meet its obligations and at the same time continue to uphold climate justice. There needs to be equal apportionment of benefits and risks in this transition.
  3. Conclusion of agreement on the governance of loss and damage under the Convention, including the Santiago Network for Loss and Damage, and discussion on next steps on finance.
  4. Advancing negotiations on the post-2025 finance goal.

South Africa at COP27: fight climate change with adaptation, finance and nitigation

South Africa’s negotiating mandate at COP27 zeroes in on adaptation, mitigation, the Just Energy Transition and the much-needed finance. On the matter of adaptation, the focus will be on a work programme which establishes clear targets for adaptation, which is directly connected to specific numbers for finance requirements.

South Africa at COP27: finance needed to fight climate change

On the matter of the requisite finance, it is expected that the costs of adaptation for Africa as a region between 2020 and 2030 will be USD259 to 407 billion approximated (R4.6 trillion to R7.2 trillion). Loss and damage costs for the time period are approximated to be between USD289 and 440 billion (R5.1 trillion to R7.8 trillion). The sheer scale of costs underscores the critical nature of the financial support required from developed nations. This support will be key to South Africa’s success in implementing the Just Energy Transition Financing Framework, which was approved by Cabinet in September 2022. To rebuild trust after developed countries who failed to honour their pre-2020 financial commitments and obligations under article 9.1 of the Paris Agreement, and to ensure that the $100 billion target will be met, concrete mitigatory action plans will need to be put forward.

South Africa at COP27: effective mitigation as we fight climate change

On the matter of mitigation, the proposed work programme should support parties to implement their National Development Goals (NDCs) and be informed by common and differentiated responsibilities and respective capabilities (CBDR& RC) and national circumstances. Further to this, the work programme must not replicate or prejudge the Global Stocktake, which is the mechanism for intensifying ambition and augmenting NDC’s, and should be rooted in equity and best available science. Finally, developed countries must not dull their early momentum given imminent energy challenges, nor should they impose different mitigation targets on developing countries, thereby shifting the burden or having the effect of nullifying implementation support.

Will COP27 rise to Africa’s expectation as an true implementation COP? This question is yet to be answered.

Speak to us about your environmental, social, and corporate governance(ESG) programme.

In line with our position as a leader in African Environmental, social, and corporate governance (ESG), Kettle Consulting continues to monitor all climate change developments at the COP 27 and beyond.You may email us at or call 011 025 1446 (Johannesburg) and 021 003 8000 (Cape Town)

Insight by:

Knowledge Desk @

Kettle Consulting (PTY) Ltd

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