South Africa government advised to lower emissions target

A panel appointed by South African president Cyril Ramaphosa recommended that the world’s 12th-biggest producer of greenhouse gases improve its target for reducing emissions, three people familiar with the matter said.

In a draft report, the Presidential Climate Change Coordinating Commission, also known as the P4C, advised the government to lower its target range to emissions of 350 to 420 megatons of carbon dioxide by 2030, the people said, asking not to be identified as the report isn’t public.

The environment ministry in March recommended a 28% reduction in emissions by 2030 to a range of 398 to 440 megatons.The target is South Africa’s so-called Nationally Determined Contribution, to be presented to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change in November.

The P4C “will be submitting its report to the president next week, whereafter it will be released to the public,” said Crispian Olver, head of the commission’s secretariat. “We would prefer not to comment on its contents until after the release.”

Key to South Africa’s success in meeting the targets and making progress beyond 2030 is cutting its reliance on coal, which is used to generate almost all of the country’s electricity. State power utility Eskom Holdings SOC Ltd plans to gradually close some of its plants and possibly have them replaced with renewable energy.

The commission was set up by Ramaphosa in December to advise him on the country’s climate-change response.

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