The Paris Agreement will be signed on Friday, 22 April 2016 in New York. This adds further impetus to the international response to climate change and, for the local economy, it re-emphasises the importance of South Africa’s national greenhouse gas mitigation actions, including the carbon tax. Taxand South Africa delivers an analysis of this update.
If 12 December 2015, the day on which negotiations on the Agreement were concluded, will go down in history as the date on which humanity finally took the threat of climate change seriously enough to warrant a comprehensive global response, then 22 April 2016 will likely run a close second in terms of significance.
On 22 April 2016, the United Nations Secretary-General, Ban Ki-Moon, will convene a high-level signing ceremony of the Agreement in New York to mark the official commencement of the steps required to implement the future climate change legal regime. At the last count, some 156 countries, including all of the world’s largest emitters (save the Russian Federation) have indicated an intention to sign.
For those who might still be of the view that the carbon tax will not materialise, Treasury’s message is very clear: the carbon tax is coming and the timeframe for commencement, including progressing through the Parliamentary process, remains January 2017.