National Economy's DNA Needs to Change

Cape Times (South Africa), November 2, 2011 | Go to article overview

National Economy's DNA Needs to Change


SOUTH Africa would have to change the DNA of its economy in order to tackle climate change effectively.

Johnny de Lange, chairman of Parliament's environmental affairs portfolio committee, told MPs during public hearings on the National Climate Change Response White Paper that the country had developed in a way which had created problems that were now built into the economy.

"We have a very high fossil fuel-driven economy, which is part of the DNA of the economy, so it is the DNA we have to change, which is not easy."

The White Paper was the start of the process, and the government's response to dealing with climate change.

"The response to climate change has to include all aspects of life, but there is no department which deals with all aspects of life. So the White Paper creates the framework in which our responses will take place.

"It is not something we are used to as politicians, as government, and we have to develop tools and skills. No one has all the answer to this issue. We will have to find ways," De Lange said.

NGOs that make submissions yesterday commended the Department of Environmental Affairs for many aspects of the White Paper, but said the targets for reducing emissions were not ambitious enough. …

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