“First, do no harm”? An overview and ethical evaluation of South Africa’s climate change mitigation commitments in light of the Paris Agreement
Nationally Determined Contribution (NDC)
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AbstractSouth Africa ratified the Paris Agreement in 2016 and thereby committed to reducing Greenhouse Gas (GHG) concentration levels as part of its self-determined goals in its Nationally Determined Contribution (NDC). This articleviewed the targets in the NDC through an ethical lens. It was demonstrated that the commitment below the ‘business-asusual’ (BAU) level allowed for large increases in South Africa’s emissions without explaining how these were consistent with a specific understanding of what equity required. Also, the NDCtargets were found to be highly insufficient. Consequently, South Africa’s climate change mitigation commitments were deemed inconsistent with the ethical ‘no-harm’ principle.