South Africa's intended nationally determined contribution

South Africa is defining its intended nationally determined contribution (INDC), as are all countries, in preparation for the 2015 Agreement on climate change, expected in Paris (December 2015). Various analyses of relative fair efforts are one important aspect; particularly as the Agreement is to be based on science and equity. But what is a  relative fair effort by South Africa? Many different analytical approaches are possible, of which many seek to assess contributions by quantitative proxies.  

South African experts followed an approach to allocating effort and deriving carbon budgets based on these principles, operationalized in a transparent model that applied quantitative proxies for principle-based criteria. The analysis (Winkler, Letete & Marquard 2013 - see here  or write to to request a PDF) assumed that 50:50 risk of exceeding 2 °C would be acceptable, and that the remaining  global carbon budget was 1440 GtCO2e for the first half of the 21st century, based  on best probability distribution functions at the time (Meinshausen, Meinshausen, Hare, Raper, Frieler, Knutti, Frame & Allen 2009). The analysis by SA experts was undertaken at the same time as that by experts from other BASIC countries – Brazil, China and India - see the SA chapter accessible here

In the same report, teams of researchers from China and India presented their analysis. The key principle in both cases is responsibility interpreted in terms of cumulative emissions per capita; for details see the papers by Chinese teams (CASS / DRC joint project team 2011) and Indian researchers (Jayaraman , Kanitkar & DSouza 2011).

A meta-analysis by Climate Analytics using the PRIMAP tool of various effort-sharing approaches, two probabilities of limiting temparature increase to 2°C (50% and 66%)  and complex weightings. A short report  – Rocha, M, Coimbra, A, Jeffery, L, Gütschow, J, Schaeffer, M & Hare, B (2015) Analysis of fair mitigation contribution for South Africa –  is available here, and readers can download the accompanying Excel file here.