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Parliament and climate change: the South African case

Without a carbon constraint South Africa cannot continue, economically, politically or environmentally along its current trajectory. South Africa has enjoyed many years of benefiting from cheaper coal based electricity. However, in doing so it has become Africa‟s leading greenhouse gas contributor and one of the most energy-inefficient countries in the world3.
Despite the fact that the sustainability question remains one of the greatest inter-related challenges South Africa faces, parliament‟s role has been far from self-evident. This paper explores the following questions: How has parliament engaged with the issue and what interaction has occurred between Parliament and the relevant stakeholders on climate change, both from within the executive and in civil society? A key, related question to ask is what engagement has taken place at Parliament - who has convened such meetings and what have been the outcomes of these interactions?

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