South Africa’s Presidential Climate Commission has handed over its first set of recommendations to President Cyril Ramaphosa in line with its objective to advise the government on pathways to transition to a low-carbon economy and climate-resilient society.

The Commission’s first set of recommendations deal with South Africa’s Nationally Determined Contribution (NDC), which reflects the country’s commitment to addressing climate change. In its report, the commission highlighted the risks South Africa faces from a rapidly decarbonizing global economy, suggesting that additional measures such as decommissioning coal-fired power stations at the end of their commercial life, increasing renewable energy investment and rolling out green transport initiatives should be taken to lower emissions.

Speaking on the possibility of setting more ambitious emissions targets will lower the transition risk, improve energy security and attract additional international finance, the Commission Deputy Chair, Valli Moosa said: “Higher ambition is possible without negatively impacting the economy, and will set the stage for longer-term competitiveness. Also, higher ambition will lead to a net jobs increase”.

President Ramaphosa received the report with commendations to the Commission on producing its first set of recommendations within such a short timeframe. He explained that the recommendations made by the Commission will form part of Cabinet’s deliberations as it finalizes the updated and revised NDC. The President encouraged the Commission to continue with its work, which is crucial for successfully steering the country through the climate transition.