Ramaphosa: SA must act with urgency to reduce greenhouse emissions

President Cyril Ramaphosa said that the world was facing a climate crisis of 'unprecedented proportions which pose broad economic risks'.

President Cyril Ramaphosa at a media briefing on 3 June 2021. Picture: GCIS

JOHANNESBURG - President Cyril Ramaphosa said that the world was facing a climate crisis of "unprecedented proportions" which pose broad economic risks.

In his weekly newsletter released on Monday morning, Ramaphosa used quotes from the latest report from the world's leading climate scientists, warning that the pace of global warming was rapidly increasing and that sub-Saharan Africa had been experiencing temperature increases well above the global average.

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Climate change poses serious health environmental and economic risks for South Africa. Drought, flooding, pollution, disease, depleted fish stocks, ocean temperature changes.

These were just some of the effects of climate change experienced by South Africans of late and all of this had huge implications on our economy, the president said.

President Cyril Ramaphosa said that the country’s trading partners who pursued the goal of net-zero carbon emissions were likely to increase restrictions on the import of goods produced using carbon-intensive energy and that because so much of South Africa was dependent on coal-generated electricity, we were likely to find that the products we exported to various countries faced trade barriers and consumers in those countries may be less willing to buy them.

Ramaphosa said all of these emerging trends meant that South Africa had to act with urgency and ambition to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and undertake a transition to a low-carbon economy.

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