Programme to support the implementation of climate action - South African Department of Environmental Affairs

Programme description

Title: Climate Support Programme (CSP)
Commissioned by: German Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation and Nuclear Safety (BMU)
Country: South Africa
Lead executing agency: Department of Environmental Affairs (DEA)
Overall term: 2013 to 2017



Climate change affects almost all aspects of daily life in South Africa. The impact of extreme weather events such as droughts and floods is felt most strongly by the poorer population. At the same time, South Africa is a major emitter of greenhouse gases, generating electricity largely from its coal resources. The emission rate is almost ten tonnes of carbon dioxide per person per year – 43 per cent higher than the global average. As a signatory to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, the Paris Agreement and the Kyoto Protocol, South Africa has made a voluntary commitment to combat climate change. The country aims to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 34 per cent by 2020 and 42 per cent by 2025, compared to the ‘business-as-usual’ scenario. At the same time, South Africa is also developing a national adaptation strategy, based on latest research findings.


South Africa has taken important steps towards implementing its national climate policy and plays a leading role in international climate negotiations.


GIZ is implementing the Climate Support Programme (CSP) on behalf of the German Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation, Building and Nuclear Safety (BMUB), as part of the International Climate Initiative (IKI). The programme supports the South African Department of Environmental Affairs (DEA) in achieving their ambitious objectives. It has already provided significant assistance to DEA in developing South Africa’s national climate policy and is now supporting the policy’s implementation. In particular, GIZ is advising DEA on scientific analysis, policy development and consensus building. This enables South Africa to create a solid foundation based on which to design and implement its climate policy effectively.

In cooperation with the South African Government, the private sector and research institutions, the programme has produced research findings which, after an extensive consultation process, have been fed into the national climate policy. The programme has assessed the level of vulnerability to climate change of key economic and social sectors. This analysis provides the basis for the development of the national adaptation strategy. In addition, the potential for reducing greenhouse gas emissions in key industry sectors has been identified. Based on this, the programme supports the development of a national mitigation system composed of sectoral mitigation targets and carbon budgets for major South African companies.


With the support of the GIZ programme, the mitigation potential has been determined for different sectors of the economy, such as energy, industry and transport, and mitigation targets have been set and approved by the cabinet. In addition, carbon budgets have been calculated for more than 30 large South African companies so far.

A cross-sectoral research project to develop long-term adaptation scenarios has been successfully completed. The results of this are now being fed into the development of the national adaptation strategy, sectoral strategies and provincial adaptation plans. The programme also supports the development of climate vulnerability analyses. Analyses have so far been completed for five provinces and 20 local authorities. The findings are now being used for the development of climate responsive development plans for the local authorities. This process also makes use of the ‘Let’s Respond Toolkit”, which was developed by the programme.

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Consultation processes to identify the country’s (Intended) Nationally Determined Contributions (INDCs and NDCs) have been conducted successfully in all nine provinces of South Africa. This involved a wide range of representatives of government, research, civil society and the private sector. In 2014, a national climate conference was held with over 800 participants.