CLIMATE CHANGE AND SOUTH AFRICA: A CRITICAL ANALYSIS OF THE NATIONAL CLIMATE CHANGE RESPONSE WHITE PAPER AND THE PUSH FOR TANGIBLE PRACTICES AND MEDIA-DRIVEN INITIATIVES

Shelley Smith

Abstract


The South African government's response to the universal crisis of global warming has resulted in the creation of the National Climate Change Response White Paper, a proposed country-wide course of action that would aid in the stabilization of greenhouse gas emissions and intervene in current harmful environmental practices. The role of communication and the media is crucial to the success of any policy implementation as well as of the establishment of an 'action-inspired' mind-set amongst citizens that will bolster lifestyle change to support the cause. This paper will assess the National Climate Change Response White Paper in conjunction with climate change coverage from the South African daily online news source, News24. Additionally, films released from the Bjerkness Centre for Climate Research and discussion surrounding youth’s use of relatable mediums to invoke lifestyle change from Lindie Buirski, Head of Environmental Capacity Building, Training and Education in the City of Cape Town’s Environmental Resource Management (ERM) Department, will aid in analysis. Moreover, they will serve to bolster the argument of communications' critical role in realizing any goals set forth by the government.  The paper will close by offering proposed climate-change directed development projects for the South African context and will refer to current international successful examples of media use to carry the message of climate change, while inviting audience input, participation, and most importantly, action.


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DOI: https://doi.org/10.5789/7-1-125

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