Climate change to cost Western Cape R4.3bn

2014-03-05 12:21
Cape Town's iconic Table Mountain. (Duncan Alfreds, News24)

Cape Town's iconic Table Mountain. (Duncan Alfreds, News24)

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Cape Town – Intense weather conditions will cost the Western Cape government R4.3bn within the next decade according to a climate change strategy.

According IOL climate change is a huge factor in examining what is responsible for the extreme conditions. According to the study “Climate Change Response Strategy 2014” most of the money will go towards helping those affected by  floods, and droughts.

Director of climate change and biodiversity for the Western Cape Helen Davies states that the Western Cape is clearly getting drier and warmer, moreover she predicts more intense rainfall.

Food prices will also increase. Davies argues that if the EU were to place a carbon tax on food imported from South Africa the fruit industry may pay R100 more per ton of fruit that would be delivered to European states.

This means that for every 1kg of fruit brought from Overberg an additional 22c will be added to the price, for the same fruit to be brought from Chile an additional 9c will be added to the price.

South Africa’s carbon tax will be higher because the state will have higher carbon emissions per capita.

Davies believes that the Cape will see increases in maximum and minimum temperatures and in addition average temperatures will increase.

What this means for Capetonians is that days will get hotter and heatwaves will be more prevalent, the Western Cape will also experience fewer days were frost will appear. Rainfall will increase due to the fact that a warmer atmosphere retains more water. The increased rainfall in shorter periods will intensify the risk of floods.

Davies plan to combat the effects of climate change involves reducing greenhouse emissions by creating and growing a low-carbon economy and by helping society, the economy and ecosystems adapt to climate change requirements.

The most important point is that climate change is not an issue competing with other problems in the Western Cape. Climate change affects all sectors.

Delays in addressing climate change will have an impact on our infrastructure, getting the correct planning and ultimately will cost South Africans more in the long run says Davies.

Read more on:    eu  |  cape town  |  environment

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