South Africa

Overall rating
Insufficient
Policies & action
Almost Sufficient
< 2°C World
Domestic target
Insufficient
< 3°C World
Fair share target
Highly insufficient
< 4°C World
Cimate finance
Not applicable
Net zero target

year

2050

Comprehensiveness not evaluated as

Information incomplete
Land use & forestry

impact on overall emissions is

Summary

We evaluate the net zero target as: Target information incomplete.

South Africa states its intention to commit to a net zero CO2 target (“net zero carbon emissions”) by 2050 as part of a visionary statement in its LTS (Republic of South Africa, 2020). In this context, the National Planning Commission is in the process of developing a common vision for South Africa in 2050 and will subsequently update its Low-Emission Development Strategy.

The CAT currently does not evaluate South Africa’s net zero target given the preliminary nature and a lack of more detailed information. The CAT will do so once further information will be communicated by the government.

South Africa
Comprehensiveness of net zero target design
Target information incomplete
Scope
Target year: 2050
Emissions coverage

Target covers emissions / sectors partially (under 95% coverage)

International aviation and shipping

No information on the target’s intention to cover international aviation and shipping

Reductions or removals outside of own borders

Provides no information on intention to use international offset credits to meet net zero

Architecture
Legal Status

Net zero target in proposed legislation or in a policy document

Separate reduction & removal targets

No information on intention to separate emission reduction and removal targets

Review Process

Country provides no information on its intention to establish a review cycle for its net zero and intermediate targets (note: this option applies to countries that have only announced a target, with no accompanying law / policy)

Transparency
Carbon dioxide removal

No information on intention to communicate transparent assumptions on carbon dioxide removals

Comprehensive planning

Country provides no information on anticipated pathways or measures

Clarity on fairness of target

Country provides no information on its intention to explain the target’s fairness.

Ten key elements

Scope

  • Target year – South Africa aims to reach net zero by 2050.
  • Emissions coverage – South Africa states its intention to commit to “net zero carbon emissions” by 2050 as part of a visionary statement in its LTS (Republic of South Africa, 2020). For this reason, the CAT currently assumes South Africa’s target currently only covers CO2 emissions.
  • International aviation and shipping – South Africa provides no information on its intention to cover international aviation and shipping.
  • Reductions or removals outside of own borders – South Africa provides no information on its intention to use international offset credits to meet its net zero target.

Target architecture

  • Legal status – South Africa included its net zero target in their Low-Emission Development Strategy 2050 submitted to the UNFCCC in September 2020 (Republic of South Africa, 2020).
  • Separate reduction & removal targets – South Africa provides no information on its intention to communicate separate emission reduction and removal targets.
  • Review process – South Africa provides no information on its intention to establish a review cycle for its net zero and intermediate targets.

Transparency

  • Carbon dioxide removal – South Africa provides no information on its intention to communicate transparent assumptions on carbon dioxide removals.
  • Comprehensive planning – South Africa states its intention to develop a vision for 2050, a process to be overseen by the National Planning Commission (Republic of South Africa, 2020). The Low-Emission Development Strategy highlights the need to reduce greenhouse gas emissions through various interventions but currently does not specify these in greater detail.
  • Clarity on fairness of target – South Africa provides no information on its intention to explain the target’s fairness.

Good practice

The Climate Action Tracker has defined the following good practice for all ten key elements of net zero targets. Countries can refer to this good practice to design or enhance their net zero targets.

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