“Our country and the continent are becoming hotter and drier. We are going to have far more extreme events such as droughts, floods, sea level rise and fires. We expect these to increase in intensity and frequency,” she said Wednesday.
Addressing the launch of the second edition of the South African Risk and Vulnerability Atlas (SARVA) in Johannesburg, Hermanus said the impacts of climate change were going to intensify, impacting the population, with the poor being particularly affected.
“It’s important that we respond to these issues appropriately. They are absolutely important for the sustainability of our country. We need Government, the private sector, non-profit organizations (NPOs) and Civil Society to not only have an understanding of the issues at hand, but we also need to co-own a strategy for how we address those issues and then we need to ensure that we can implement them together,” she said.
The atlas has findings of current research on the risk and vulnerability of key social and economic sectors to climate change. According to the atlas, temperatures over South Africa may be expected to rise faster than the global mean temperature, with parts of the interior of the country projected to warm up by as much as three to five degrees Celsius by the end of the century.
“Eastern South Africa is projected to experience summers with more intense rainfall events, whilst drier winters are projected to the southwestern Cape,” the atlas reads.