International Day of Climate Action – 24 October 2023
International Day of Climate Action is a worldwide movement initiated by concerned youth which aims to raise awareness of the global phenomenon of climate change and its associated global injustice. This is done by taking initiatives to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, improve adaptation to climate-caused issues and integrate climate change measures into policies. Climate change refers to changes in the usual climate caused largely by anthropogenic factors, resulting in increased greenhouse gas emissions.
International treaties, conventions and protocols that have led to the Climate Action movement include:
- the Montreal Protocol of 1987,
- the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change of 1988,
- the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change,
- Rio Earth Summit of 1992 which gave rise to Agenda 21 – Sustainable Development Goals, Rio Declaration, Statement of Forest Principles,
- the Kyoto Protocol of 1998,
- the World Summit on Sustainable Development of 2002,
- the Paris Climate Agreement of 2015, and
- the Climate Action Summit of 2019.
Sustainable Development Goal 13 makes reference to Climate Action, with the main aims being to strengthen resilience and adaptive capacity to climate-related hazards and natural disasters, to integrate climate change measures into national policies, strategies and planning, to improve education, awareness-raising and human and institutional capacity on climate change mitigation, adaptation, impact reduction and early warning, to fully operationalize Green Climate Fund through its capitalization and to promote mechanisms for raising capacity for effective climate change-related planning and management.
South Africa’s climate change response includes a host of legislation and regulations, overarched by Section 24 of the South African Constitution, which promotes sustainable development. South Africa also has green papers on climate change (2010 and 2012) and has implemented the National Climate Change Adaptation Strategy (2019).
The World Summit on Sustainable Development of 2002 was held in South Africa, and South Africa has also ratified the Paris Climate Agreement of 2015.