South Africa is rated Medium. It provided a quantitative target based on a detailed, comprehensive scenario analysis, but has made the target conditional to a strong Copenhagen agreement and financing from developed countries. It is unclear which share of the target is unconditional. If the conditional target becomes unilateral it will be in the Sufficient range. The reference scenario that is related to the pledge is considered relatively high.
South Africa will undertake mitigation actions which will result in a deviation below the current emissions baseline of around 34% by 2020 and by around 42% by 2025. The target was proposed during the Copenhagen negations and submitted to the Copenhagen Accord on 29 January 2010. This level of effort enables South Africa’s emissions to peak between 2020 and 2025, plateau for approximately a decade and decline in absolute terms thereafter. This characterizes a peak-plateau-decline (PPD) trajectory. This undertaking is conditional on a fair, ambitious and effective agreement in the international climate change negotiations under the Climate Change convention and the Kyoto Protocol and the provision of support from the international community.
In October 2011, South Africa has provided an explanatory note with further details on their “business-as-usual” trajectory, and on the lower and upper limits of their PPD trajectories.
Announcement of the president, submitted under the Copenhagen Accord and acknowledged under the Cancun Agreements
DEAT (2007) Long Term Mitigation Scenarios. Strategic Options for South Africa. Pretoria, South Africa: Development of Environment Affaires and Tourism (DEAT)
We have used the emission estimates from the government's Long-Term Mitigation Scenarios. We interpreted the scenario "unconstrained growth" in the scenario analysis as the reference level. We deducted from that 34% in 2020. For the global pathway we used the scenario "start now" as if it were a unilateral pledge.