South Africa launches climate change explorer app at UNFCCC CoP24 in Katowice, Poland

13 December 2018

The South African Department of Environmental Affairs (DEA) on 13 December 2018 launched the South Africa Biennial Update Report Explorer on the sidelines of the international climate change talks in Katowice, Poland.

The 24th Conference of Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC COP24) ends tomorrow, 14 December 2018.

The Biennial Update Report Explorer is part of South Africa’s Climate Change Response Monitoring and Evaluation (M&E) System.  It is a new platform which expands the functionality of the National Climate Change Response M&E System by offering accessible and dynamic data and visualisations of South Africa’s climate change response. 

Developed in collaboration with World Resources Institute, the Explorer (accessible now at is an important resource for policymakers, business, researchers and civil society to view and download data on South Africa’s climate actions and goals for contributing to the international effort to mitigate greenhouse gas emissions under the Paris Agreement.

“This project to develop and manage the new APP is aimed at strengthening domestic climate systems to track progress toward tackling climate change,” said the Deputy Director-General for climate change, Dr Tsakani Ngomane. “It is an important tool supporting the realisation of South Africa’s Nationally Determined Contribution or NDC” and the Paris Agreement.

The National Climate Change Response Policy (NCCRP) guides South Africa’s climate action as part of the broader global effort to mitigate and manage the effects of global warming and underpins the country’s commitment to the successful implementation of the Paris Agreement. Transparency and reporting of progress in responding to climate change are key to the effective implementation of South Africa’s Climate Change Response Policy. It is also important in the achievement of the National Development Plan Vision 2030.

The Climate Change M&E System ensures transparency of climate action and facilitates South Africa’s ability to manage the increasing transparency requirements of the Paris Agreement.   The implementation of the Climate Change M&E System is based on the National Climate Change Response M&E System Framework published in 2015.

"South Africa’s Biennial Update Report Explorer, as part of the National Climate Change Response M&E System, makes it easier than ever, for policymakers, civil society and other stakeholders to gain an insight into the status of South Africa’s climate change response; providing easy access to data on the country’s efforts in this regard.” said Pankaj Bhatia, Deputy Director, Climate, World Resources Institute, and Global Director, GHG Protocol. “This platform is important for providing a common basis for reflecting on the progress made towards meeting national commitments; allowing leaders to understand if they’re on track and change course as needed. The platform strengthens the country’s continued efforts to empower all stakeholders with the necessary information to act on climate change with increasing ambition.” 

The Explorer will allow users to track South Africa’s greenhouse gas emissions profile, covering both historical GHG emissions and emission projections to 2050 and; allows for customizable views by sector, sub-sector and gas.  It allows users to search for, and compare, the mitigation effects and sustainable development co-benefits of policies, strategies and actions.  Examples include the implementation of the National Energy Efficiency policy coordinated by the Department of Energy which led to cumulative greenhouse gas reductions of 428.1 MtCO2e through 2014, as well as the implementation of a coal-to-gas switch policy in the liquid fuels sector which led to cumulative greenhouse gas reductions of 80.9 MtCO2e in the same period.

Users will also be able to access information on the implementation and scaling-up South Africa’s Climate Change Near-term Priority Flagship Programmes.  These large-scale strategic implementation programmes are implemented by national government and other partners to ignite large-scale investment in South Africa’s transition to a low carbon and climate resilient future.

The Explorer allows users to track finance flows for climate change related activities in South Africa.  This would include information on loans and grants from international and domestic sources for local government climate change adaptation projects, or non-financial support needed for activities such as testing of geological CO2 storage and the potential installation of carbon capture and storage systems at industrial facilities.

“The platform will be continuously updated with the latest information needed to understand the country’s climate progress, and is a significant step forward in building South Africa’s capability and skills in the area of climate transparency,” said  Dr Ngomane.

The project is supported with funding from the Government of Germany’s Federal Ministry of Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) and Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation and Nuclear Safety (BMU).

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