Depending on whether one analyses the low or high level of the emissions range for 2025–2030, we rate South Africa’s NDC as “Highly Insufficient” or “2°C compatible”. This rating is based on the upper end of the NDC range, i.e. the minimum level of ambition South Africa has thus far committed to.
The “Highly Insufficient” rating indicates that South Africa’s climate commitment in 2030 is not consistent with holding warming to below 2°C, let alone limiting it to 1.5°C as required under the Paris Agreement, and is instead consistent with warming between 3°C and 4°C: if all countries were to follow South Africa’s approach, warming could reach over 3°C and up to 4°C. This means South Africa’s climate commitment is not in line with any interpretation of a “fair” approach to the former 2°C goal, let alone the Paris Agreement’s 1.5°C limit.
The CAT ratings are based on climate commitments in (I)NDCs. If the CAT were to rate South Africa’s projected emissions levels in 2030 under current policies, the rating would fall between “Insufficient” and “2°C compatible.”
This means South Africa’s current policies are at the least stringent end of what would be a fair share of global effort, and are not consistent with the Paris Agreement warming limit, unless other countries make much deeper reductions and comparably greater effort.
Further information about the risks and impacts associated with the temperature levels of each of the categories.