The auditors present at the congress also called for an improvement in the turnaround strategy for registering Clean Development Mechanism (CDM) projects in order to assess the projects’ contribution to technology transfer.
South Africa has only about 15 projects registered as CDM and they vary from bio-fuels, energy efficiency, waste management, cogeneration and hydro power, among others.
Further, the report suggests that a Greenhouse Gas Inventory Management System should be developed in such a way that emission records and forecasts are maintainable and credible.
The system is a tool designed for managing and monitoring greenhouse gas performance for global cities. South Africa has listed an intention to reduce gas emissions by 34 percent by 2020 and 42 percent by 2025.
The report also advises the Department of Environmental Affairs to measure the efficiency and effectiveness of mitigation and adaptation policy instruments, and report on the achievements thereof.
South African Auditor General and chair of INTOSAI, Terence Nombembe, said the report, which covered different commitments, responsibilities and perspectives of climate change, impacts everyone.
The report covered 14 countries, including Canada, Greece, Brazil, Australia, Poland and UK, among others.
“The report, tabled in individual countries, will assist the various governments to take action and implement the necessary plans to address mitigation and adaptation issues, while the collective insights will assist the world in addressing this topic,” said Nombembe.
Overall, the report found that the there was some progress in dealing with climate change, but it found that it still remains a formidable challenge for governments to address the issue better.
The report found that although emission reduction targets, objectives or commitments are generally in place in countries, they are not always supported by comprehensive and specific national, regional or sectoral strategies and plans.
Some audits found government programmes that conflicted with climate change targets, objectives, or actions, while many of the 14 governments did not fully complete the risk management process and course for adaptation to climate change.
It identified some lack of coordination within national governments or ineffective management and governance structures.
In most countries, an overall lead agency has been established to manage the government’s climate change approach, but in some cases, clear and distinct roles and responsibilities of the numerous national government agencies involved in mitigation and adaptation efforts have not been defined.
It also found that a lack of reliable and comprehensive data on numerous aspects of climate change hindered the ability of governments to make informed decisions and monitor actions or progress toward targets or longer term objectives.
Chair of the INTOSAI’s working group on environmental issues, Mihkel Oviir, hoped that governments would consider their recommendations.
“Our audits have found that governments can do much better … we hope this report will encourage more supreme audit institutions to undertake such audits and lead to further improvements by our governments towards meeting the common global challenges,” said Oviir. – BuaNews