6.2 Social Partners (Industry and Business; Organized Labour and Civil Society)


Climate change is a challenge that has consequences for all South Africans and unmitigated is likely to have serious consequences for our patterns of production and consumption, our livelihoods and the allocation of national resources.

Given this, we must see climate change as all of our business. As such, the role of all citizens and specifically organised groupings within civil society are important to the success of a broad national effort. Government therefore sees its climate change strategy as being one that is implemented in partnership with the South African people and in a way that seeks to empower people and give them understanding, choice and control over the climate related decisions that impact their daily lives and work.

In this context there are key constituencies who have clear roles to play.

The business and industrial sectors have an important contribution to make in increasing their levels of energy efficiency, developing and implementing climate adaptation and mitigation plans and working in partnership with government to achieve the overall policy objectives.

Business will also continue with initiatives to engage international counterparts in the climate change debate to ensure that the interests of business in the developing world are well understood and to encourage its members to increase participation in voluntary climate change response reporting initiatives like the carbon disclosure project.

Civil society, labour and the faith communities have an important role to play in continuing to raise public awareness and motivate individuals, institutions and authorities to take actions to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and adapt to the adverse impacts of climate change as well as to critically evaluate, comment on and respond to the initiatives of government and the private sector. Civil society organisations that work directly with community based organisations and particularly with the poor and with women are an important conduit for ensuring that climate information is timeously communicated and that the issues of vulnerable groupings that are related to climate change are fed back into the governmental and scientific and research sectors.

The climate change science community shall work together to improve projections of climate variability, climate change and their impacts, key vulnerabilities in affected sectors and communities, and exploration of appropriate mitigation and adaptation responses and their implementation, including in the area of technology research and development, and its implementation. They shall continue to enhance their role in building South Africa’s capacity in climate change science and the broader engagement of its citizens in the related socio-economic challenges and opportunities.