Call for comments: Portfolio Committee on Forestry, Fisheries and Environment conducts public hearings on the Climate Change Bill
South Africa’s Parliamentary Portfolio Committee on Forestry, Fisheries, and the Environment (“Portfolio Committee”), is midway through its nation-wide public hearings on the Climate Change Bill (“Bill”), which started in Mpumalanga province at the beginning of February 2023. The Bill was initially introduced over a year ago.
Recognising that human-induced climate change represents an urgent threat to human societies and the planet, the purpose of the Bill is to enable the development of an effective climate change response and a just transition to a low-carbon and climate-resilient society in the context of sustainable development.
The Bill was introduced to Parliament on 18 February 2022 by the Minister of Forestry, Fisheries and the Environment. Initial public consultations were held in September and October 2022. Members of Parliament who sit on the Portfolio Committee are now in the process of conducting three public hearings in each province across South Africa. Hearings ‒ which any members of the public may attend and make oral or written submissions to, in their preferred language, directly to the Portfolio Committee ‒ were held most recently in Gauteng from 10-12 March 2023.
The Portfolio Committee will now proceed to the North West province to host further hearings from 31 March-1 April 2023. The Portfolio Committee has published a draft programme for the remainder of these public hearings, which conclude in the Western Cape province from 19-21 May 2023. The Portfolio Committee has also invited written comment on the Bill for submission to its Secretariat at [email protected] by 27 May 2023.
Following this consultation period, members of the Portfolio Committee will deliberate on all of the public submissions received and consider amendments to the Bill.
At this stage, the Secretariat anticipates that the Bill will be tabled with the National Assembly during the course of September 2023.
*Please note that the dates in this draft programme are subject to change. ALT Advisory will communicate any updates as and when we become aware of them.
- See the brief from ALT Advisory’s associate public interest law firm, Power Singh Inc., on the pros and cons of the emissions approach in the Climate Change Bill.
- Parliament’s 2023 work programme is available here.
This advisory note was prepared by ALT Advisory’s new Climate Justice & Sustainability Practice (CJS). With an emphasis on implementation, monitoring, and impact reporting, CJS aims to build climate-resilience through digital transformation and climate and environmental justice. Find out more here.
Please note: The information contained in this note is for general guidance on matters of interest, and does not constitute legal advice. For any enquiries, please contact us at [email protected]