The Climate Change Bill has been published for comments by 6 October 2020.

A high level summary of the Bill is provided as follows:

The Bill gives directives at a National Level for the following:

  • An inter-ministerial committee responsible for planning, monitoring and evaluation in the presidency, ministers, as well as provincial and municipal levels;
  • Provincial and municipal climate change response strategies to be developed
  • A national adaptation strategy and plan and sector based adaptation plans to be developed;
  • A greenhouse gas emissions trajectory needs to be developed within one year of the bill being enacted.
  • The Minister must gazette GHG emitting sectors that are subject to sectoral emission targets. This must be aligned to the GHG emissions trajectory developed and the targets must be reviewed every 5 years.

The Bill gives directives at a Company Level for the following:

  • The minister must allocate a carbon budget to any person that conducts an activity as prescribed in Section 24 of the Bill, for these activities quantitative thresholds for each listed activity will be used and will be applicable at a company level.
  • A carbon budget must have a duration of three successive five year periods and must specify the maximum amount of GHG emissions during the first five year period.
  • A person to whom a carbon budget has been allocated, must prepare and submit a GHG mitigation plan to the Minister for approval.
  • Companies will be required implement mitigation plans, monitor and evaluate their progress and annually report on the progress towards compliance with the carbon budget.
  • If the ownership of an activity must be transferred, then an application must be made to the Minister to transfer the allocation.

In addition, the Bill also gives directives for:

  • The phasing out of synthetic GHGs
  • The establishment of institutional arrangements to facilitate a national system for data collection for the creation of a National GHG Inventory.

Persons failing to prepare and submit GHG mitigation plans or implementing these plans will be convicted of an offense and will be liable to pay penalties contemplated in section 49B(2) of the National Environmental Management Act.

In effect, the Bill provides the directive that if a company exceeds a carbon budget, an admin penalty will be levied in terms of the Carbon Tax Act, and it is expected that the actual collection to be in terms of Customs Act. The implications of this is that the Carbon Tax will need to be amended for this to be implemented.

Should you have any questions, please feel free to contact Zelda Burchell.

+27 11 568 3341

+27 82 410 0750