Akhona Xotyeni is true to hyperlink the Covid-19 disaster with the local weather change disaster. Each are signs of underlying systemic vulnerability; pandemics and local weather change threaten human life on Earth in elementary methods.
And I agree that South Africa appears to lack the power to hitch these dots and invariably apparently doesn’t have the “strategic foresight” to take the mandatory longer-term planning steps wanted to anticipate system-level shocks and threats.
For South Africa, and humanity, 2021 presents a fork-in-the-road alternative to “reset” its financial paradigm — as a result of beneath all of it, it’s our strategy to the administration of financial sources that, correctly recognized, is the underlying reason for the system-level shocks.
In flip, because of this our response to local weather change, as a lot as to pandemics, are decided by political and ideological selections.
This must be the primary order of enterprise for the newly-appointed Presidential Local weather Change Coordinating Fee (P4C), which is a vital growth: to develop a “strategic foresight” strategy to diagnosing the local weather change risk and the choices for responding with the mandatory urgency and precision.
Its second precedence must be to recognise the politics of local weather change and to start the mandatory job of serving to the general public to know the significance of local weather change to their particular person and collective futures.
To date, local weather change has not featured within the election manifestos of events; votes are apparently neither gained nor misplaced on the again of the positions adopted by political events, regardless of the dangerous impact that local weather change has on individuals’s lives.
As a result of the P4C has members drawn from many sectors, it has the potential to current a reputable rallying name for society, and to attract a wider set of social actors into the talk.
Due to this, it additionally has the potential to be the platform for a multistakeholder course of to steer the “simply” power transition — doubtlessly its most vital contribution. The federal government is clearly caught, unable to untangle the extreme vested pursuits within the fossil gas financial system and navigate a really tough political financial system.
Except South Africa finds a approach to transfer quickly away from a carbon-heavy financial system, it is not going to solely lag globally and fail to fulfill its worldwide obligations, however its financial system shall be “stranded”, with dire long-term penalties.
Final, it should outline a local weather finance technique — particularly one which hyperlinks the financial restoration from Covid-19 with the necessity for local weather motion (as argued for by a latest United Nations-commissioned report from an knowledgeable group that I co-chaired). There are vital swimming pools of worldwide local weather finance that could possibly be tapped and international funds such because the Inexperienced Local weather Fund can be desperate to assist a South African power transition, if solely it might get its act collectively.