As climate change accelerates, South African businesses and cities need to take action to build resilience in the face of the direct impacts on agriculture, forestry, fisheries, tourism, the insurance sector, water supply, human settlements, and human health – and the knock-on impacts on other sectors.
Roleplayers need to act decisively to reduce the emissions that cause climate change. This involves a shift in our energy systems from fossil fuels of oil, coal and gas to renewable energy sources such as solar, wind and waves; plus reduced emissions from every sector, such as transport, industry, construction, agriculture, and land use. Globally, investors and trading partners are looking for low-carbon opportunities, goods and services, and South Africa’s economy risks being stranded in a carbon-intensive backwater. This while the areas for economic growth and greater returns on investment off a low base lie in the low-carbon economy waiting in the wings.