1 October 2020
Slovakia, Singapore, South Africa Chart National Paths to Low-carbon Future
Photo by Damian Patkowski on Unsplash
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Slovakia, Singapore, and South Africa have brought the number of countries that have communicated their long-term low-emission development strategies to 18.

Slovakia’s strategy recommends incorporating implementation of the Paris Agreement on climate change “as one of the basic provisions in international trade agreements between the EU and third countries”.

Slovakia, Singapore, and South Africa communicated their long-term low greenhouse gas (GHG) emission development strategies (LEDS) to the UNFCCC, bringing the total number of countries to do so to 18. The three countries’ strategies identify sectoral measures on climate change mitigation and adaptation, and address means of implementation, as appropriate.

Slovakia’s submission titled, ‘Low-Carbon Development Strategy of the Slovak Republic until 2030 with a View to 2050,’ aims to identify measures necessary to achieve climate neutrality by 2050. It analyses two emission reduction scenarios with existing and additional measures. Noting that these “are unlikely to bring Slovakia to a lower degree of climate neutrality without additional effort,” the Strategy proposes further additional measures, including incorporating implementation of the Paris Agreement on climate change “as one of the basic provisions in international trade agreements between the EU and third countries.” The sectors covered are: energy; industrial processes; transport; agriculture; land use, land use change and forestry (LULUCF); and waste.

Slovakia’s strategy outlines current and planned financing opportunities for the proposed measures at the national and European levels, and discusses their socioeconomic impacts. The country plans to update its LEDS “within five years at the latest.”

Singapore’s strategy titled, ‘Charting Singapore’s Low-carbon and Climate Resilient Future,’ “aspires to halve emissions from [their] peak to 33 MtCO2e by 2050, with a view to achieving net-zero emissions as soon as viable in the second half of the century” through transformations of key sectors. For this, the LEDS notes, the country will “need to rely on global advances in low-carbon technology and on increased international collaboration,” given the challenges of achieving a low-carbon future due, in part, to “Singapore’s high dependence on international trade and export-oriented economy.”

Highlighting its climate vulnerability “as a small low-lying, island city-state,” Singapore undertakes to “pursue active and systematic adaptation efforts” in the areas of: coastal protection, water resources and drainage; biodiversity and greenery; buildings and infrastructure; public health and food security; network infrastructure; and the urban heat island (UHI) effect.

South Africa’s Low-emission Development Strategy 2050’ defines the country’s vision as “follow[ing] a low-carbon growth trajectory while making a fair contribution to the global effort to limit the average temperature increase, while ensuring a just transition and building of the country’s resilience to climate change.” South Africa envisions: detailed sectoral work to explore transformation pathways; and the creation of policy package roadmaps across three implementation phases.

South Africa’s LEDS outlines mitigation measures in the energy, industry, and waste sectors as well as a number of cross-cutting measures such as the carbon tax and sectoral emissions targets. Noting that the LEDS will directly and indirectly contribute to the SDGs, South Africa identifies areas where structural changes are necessary. These include enhancing institutional capabilities and arrangements, creating the right financial environment through aligning fiscal strategy with sustainable growth, providing broad access to funds, ensuring a just transition with jobs for all, and promoting sustainable development through education and culture.

Under the Paris Agreement on climate change, all Parties are expected to “strive” to formulate and communicate mid-century LEDS to the UNFCCC by 2020. In so doing, Slovakia, Singapore, and South Africa join Benin (in French), Canada, Costa Rica, the Czech Republic, the EU, FijiFranceGermanyJapan, the Marshall IslandsMexicoPortugal, the US, the UK, and Ukraine who have already submitted their LEDS. [UNFCCC LTS Website]

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