What was the contribution of the Long Term Mitigation Scenario process to South African climate mitigation policy?
In 2005 the South African Cabinet (referred to as Cabinet from now onwards) mandated the Department of Environmental Affairs and Tourism (DEAT) to commission the Long Term Mitigation Scenario (LTMS) process. Lasting two years, the LTMS was a combination of modelling and facilitated stakeholder engagement, which provided Cabinet with a set of scenarios describing what South Africa could do to mitigate climate change. A decade later the LTMS is acknowledged as being the “foundation” of South African climate mitigation policy, both domestically and internationally (data source: Interviews). However the extent to which climate mitigation implementation has become a reality in the country is questionable. The LTMS also provided the inspiration for the Mitigation Action Plans and Scenarios (MAPS) Programme (www.mapsprogramme.org) which facilitated similar processes being run in Chile, Colombia, Peru and Brazil. Given this influence of the LTMS both within South Africa and in the developing world more broadly, the MAPS’ research team wished to deepen the understanding of the process, and the role it has played in South African mitigation policy subsequently. We have approached this task by reviewing the LTMS process. Our objectives are primarily exploratory and descriptive, and we draw on academic public policy and administration literature to provide theoretical structure to our analysis. We also, tentatively suggest that aspects of our findings may be relevant to countries wishing to advance and deepen climate mitigation policy.