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Transcript
442 Rigel Avenue South, Erasmusrand, Pretoria, 0181
P/Bag X097, Pretoria, 0001
Tel.: +27 12 367 6000
Fax: +27 12 367 6377
Weatherlines: 082 162, or *120*555*3#, or 083 123 0500
"Celebrating 150 years of organised meteorology in South Africa"
"Understanding Climate through Weather"
SAWS Comments on Response to
Climate Change White Paper
Presented at the Portfolio Committee: Water and Environment
09 November 2011
CLS-PRES-PortComm-ccWP-2011-11.001.1
1
OVERVIEW OF DISCUSSION
1. General comments
2. Specific input
- Comment on p15 of the White Paper
- Comment on p17 of the White Paper
- Comment on p18 of the white Paper
- Comment on p26 of the White Paper (6.3 Mitigation potential)
- Comment on p39 of the White Paper
- Comment on p44 of the White Paper (11.1.4 Financing the National
Climate Change Response Policy)
- Comment on p44 of the White Paper (11.2 Education)
- Comment on p45 of the White Paper (11.3.1 Highly informed decisionmaking)
- Comment on p46 (12.1 Monitoring Climate Change)
3. Conclusion
CLS-PRES-PortComm-ccWP-2011-11.001.1
2
GENERAL COMMENTS
• DEA congratulated on a well thought through and balance
document that accurately reflects the unique situation that
South Africa faces in the Climate Change debate.
• Healthy balance is achieved between mitigation and
adaptation actions envisaged.
• SA has played a significant role in international climate change
negotiations and the White Paper underscores the
responsibility and commitment that South Africa has to
ensure a sustainable, competitive future economy geared at
attainment of sustainable development of all its peoples.
CLS-PRES-PortComm-ccWP-2011-11.001.1
3
General comments….
• The best way to build resilience to a future climate is to learn
how to deal with the current climate and its variability.
• About 90% of all disasters in South Africa are weather related.
• South Africa’s climate is characterised by large natural
variability at all time scales. It is changes in the magnitude of
variability due to climate change that will have the largest
impact on society just as it is the current variability that places
the biggest strain on the country.
• Climate change will primarily be experienced through changes
in the intensity and frequency of individual weather events
(floods, droughts, severe storms, coastal storm surges etc.)
and secondarily through changes in the climate baseline (avg
T , R etc.)
CLS-PRES-PortComm-ccWP-2011-11.001.1
4
Inter-annual variability in rainfall over SA
• SA has a highly variable
climate
• Summer rainfall strongly
influenced by El Niño and La
Niña events
•“Natural” climate variability
•Extreme climatological and
weather events are not all
the result of climate change
•Climate change affect
people through the changes
in intensity and frequency of
weather systems that they
experience on a daily basis.
In the Developing World
people are intimately linked
and dependent on their
immediate
environment,
including its weather and
climate.
CLS-PRES-PortComm-ccWP-2011-11.001.1
General comments….
• In general the South African population is not well informed
to identify and take basic precautionary actions regarding
hazardous weather conditions (lightning, heavy rainfall etc.). A
well structured public awareness campaign that includes this
topic is desperately needed.
• The national weather and climate observation infrastructure
across various government departments, agencies and private
organisations are not optimally coordinated in terms of its
planning and funding to ensure that the SAWS can optimally
maintain and expand the National Climate Database and to
holistically inform climate change research.
CLS-PRES-PortComm-ccWP-2011-11.001.1
6
General comments….
• The role and responsibilities of various government
institutions and departments with regards to climate change
matters are not clarified to the extent that South Africa
benefits from the collective effort by all role players and that
duplication is avoided.
• Enhanced capacity of climate change scientists, modellers and
air quality scientists are in desperate need in South Africa.
• The White paper is quiet on the roles of agencies and
commitment from government for funding and resourcing
them.
CLS-PRES-PortComm-ccWP-2011-11.001.1
7
SPECIFIC INPUT
CLS-PRES-PortComm-ccWP-2011-11.001.1
8
Comment on p15 of the White Paper
• The statement “Based on current projections South Africa will
exceed the limits of economically viable land-based water
resources by 2050.” should take into account the TAR of the
IPCC which says: at the current rate of economic growth,
energy consumption, population increase, etc, South Africa
will be a water-scarce country by the year 2050. If climate
change enters the accounting equation, the period of water
stress for South Africa shrinks to 2025.
• Since 2010, with the implementation of the SAWS position
statement on climate change, we have had a number of
workshops with users of our products in agriculture,
hydrology and health sectors, including animal health, as well
as other stakeholders.
CLS-PRES-PortComm-ccWP-2011-11.001.1
9
Water scarcity in Africa
How countries
will shift from
water surplus to
water scarcity as
a result of
population
changes alone
between 1990
and 2025, using
a per capita
water-scarcity
limit of 1,000 m3
yr-1.
-8 suffering from water stress or scarcity in 1990;
-Situation worsens with rapid population growth, expanding urbanization, and increased
economic development.
-By 2000, about 300 million Africans risk living in a water-scarce environment.
-By 2025, the number of countries experiencing water stress will rise to
18—affecting 600 million people (World Bank, 1995).
CLS-PRES-PortComm-ccWP-2011-11.001.1
Comment on p17 of the White Paper
• 5.2.5 should be expanded to included “other water
augmentation technologies”. It should read:
5.2.5 Exploring new, unconventional and unused resources,
particularly groundwater, re-use of effluent, desalination and
other water augmentation technologies such as rainfall
enhancement.
• Construction practices in overdeveloped areas, such as the
metropols and suburbs is of concern. There is no due
consideration for the water runoff. The maintenance and
management of the construction guidelines for water
management has been lacking. This is leading to a lot more
incidents of flash flooding. This is so much of a problem that
the SAFFG does not adequately respond in developed areas.
CLS-PRES-PortComm-ccWP-2011-11.001.1
11
Comment on p18 of the white Paper
• The statement on this page “… South Africa’s air quality is
generally good, …” could be qualified to “… South Africa’s
background air pollution levels are low, …” to reduce
insensitivity of the statement to people living in Priority Areas
and other areas of high pollution levels.
• Recognition at the end of this statement could also be given
to challenges in ambient air quality in many areas of South
Africa related to persistent air pollution problems, high
ambient SO2 and fine particulate concentrations, arising
primarily from fuel burning within the domestic, industrial,
and power-generation sectors.
CLS-PRES-PortComm-ccWP-2011-11.001.1
12
Comment on p26 of the White Paper (6.3
Mitigation potential)
• With regard to paragraph 2 of this section, note should also
be made to the abundance of renewable energy sources in
the country, most notably solar energy. It should be borne in
mind that South Africa’s coastal areas in particular have a high
wind energy potential which can be harnessed and we SAWS
have linkages with other parties e.g. Riso in Denmark to
generate a wind atlas for selected areas in the country. The
WMO (meteorological aspects of the utilisation of wind as an
energy source, Technical Note 175, 1-33) set a minimum
threshold at 3 ms-1 for sufficient wind energy resource to be
harnessed for water pumping and electricity generation.
According to this prescript, most of coastal South Africa
qualifies for wind energy extraction.
CLS-PRES-PortComm-ccWP-2011-11.001.1
13
Comment on p39 of the White Paper
• The statement “South Africa will use Section 29(1) of the Air
Quality Act to manage GHG emissions from all significant
industrial sources …..” should recognize non-industrial sources
too such as vehicle emissions which bear major pollution
problems in South Africa.
CLS-PRES-PortComm-ccWP-2011-11.001.1
14
Comment on p44 of the White Paper (11.1.4
Financing the National Climate Change
Response Policy)
• With regard to Section 11.1.4.e “Establish and/or support
public platforms to assimilate and disseminate climate
science, finance, technology and other related research and
information to enable effective decisions about risk and
investment”, SAWS will provide valuable coordinating role on
the multi-stakeholder working group on assimilation and
dissemination of climate science as a world-renowned
institution of climate science. The SAWS is then well
positioned to coordinate the national efforts on climate
change and adaptation research.
CLS-PRES-PortComm-ccWP-2011-11.001.1
15
Comment on p44 of the White Paper (11.2
Education)
• SAWS has role to play in building capacity in climate change
education. The science of weather and climate are highly
specialised and therefore institutional and human resource
capacity building initiatives to attain a critical mass of scientists
are fundamentally important for climate change research. The
success of SAWS Training Centre is critical in developing a
continuous stream of well-trained climate modellers, forecasters,
and researchers. SAWS commits to partnering with research
institutes and IHLs, gov. depts, and other role players in the
climate change arena to address societal capacity to respond to
climate change. The country should capitalize on SAWS mine of
experience in the field of climate science shown by recent
recognition by WMO as Regional Meteorological Training Centre
and thus due consideration must be given for resourcing and
support of the organisation going forward.
16
CLS-PRES-PortComm-ccWP-2011-11.001.1
Comment on p45 of the White Paper (11.3.1
Highly informed decision-making)
• SAWS proposes that there be two (instead of the proposed
one) Chief Scientific Advisors to the Minister of Science and
Technology, one on Climate Change Science and the other on
Technology working together. The reason being that these are
two different areas of specialization which should
complement each other. The role of the Chief Advisor:
Climate Change Science could be limited to a climate scientific
role, while the Chief Advisor: Technology over and above the
scientific role in the field of technology could have the
additional administrative coordination role.
• Secondly, the Advisory Council should be established and
constituted by the Ministers taking into account the available
scientific expertise in the country rather than the Chief
Scientific Advisor as proposed.
17
CLS-PRES-PortComm-ccWP-2011-11.001.1
Comment on p46 (12.1 Monitoring Climate
Change)
• This section of the White Paper pertains to a national climate
change observation strategy which will, among other things,
identify role players involved in monitoring and measuring
climate change indicators (changes in temp., rainfall severity
of extreme weather events, etc.). It must be remembered
that SAWS has a mandate in regard to climate and weather
and it is sensible for the organisation to play a coordinating
role. The observation, data archival, analysis and climate
research roles played by SAWS are critical for gauging changes
in the climate baseline.
CLS-PRES-PortComm-ccWP-2011-11.001.1
18
CONCLUSION
• SAWS accepts the White Paper. Aware that some of the points
raised will be taken up at implementation.
• A well-resourced and capable NMS will form a critical link in
building resilience against the impacts of a future climate in
South Africa. In this regard cognisance should be taken of the
fact the SAWS, in relations to its international counterparts, is
one of the smallest NMSs, especially in relation to the
population of South Africa, its surface area (including that of
the ocean areas for which South Africa is responsible) and the
complexity of its weather and climate.
CLS-PRES-PortComm-ccWP-2011-11.001.1
19
Conclusion …
• To aid disaster management efforts and responding to the
growing threat of climate variability, SAWS is committed to
continuing to develop and improve its EWS in response to
severe weather events which progressively inflict harm on
people and property.
• SAWS plays a role in marine forecasts and modelling in that
way responding to saving life at sea and protecting our marine
biodiversity.
• SAWS hosts one of the 26 GAW stations and one of two in
Africa and is developing Phase II of the SAAQIS (National GHG
Inventory). These are important for SA to meet national and
international obligations.
CLS-PRES-PortComm-ccWP-2011-11.001.1
20
Conclusion …
• “The policy outlined in the white paper serves as the
embodiment of our government to a fair contribution to the
stabilisation of global greenhouse gas concentrations in the
atmosphere and the protection of the country and its people
from the impacts of climate change. This is, among others, a
decisive action based on the acknowledgement that our
economic development is vital but must go hand in hand with
conserving the environment.”
Minister Edana Molewa, Opinion and Analysis, The Star,
Wednesday November 9 2011, p9.
CLS-PRES-PortComm-ccWP-2011-11.001.1
21
THANK YOU
CLS-PRES-PotComm-ccWP-2011-11.001.1
22