Informing climate change mitigation policy : an eThekwini Municipality perspective.
This research focuses on Climate Change Mitigation policy at the local government level. It aims to discover how officials and politicians at the eThekwini Municipality comprehend and make policy decisions in the Climate Change Mitigation field. Thereafter, Complex Adaptive System (CAS) theory will be incorporated into the research to answer the key research questions. Finally, the research will utilise an Organisation Development (OD) approach to hypothesise a manner in which CAS thinking can be embedded in local government. Climate Change Mitigation is, fundamentally, concerned with the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions by anthropogenic activities. This can be achieved by either reducing the amount of greenhouse gas emissions that are caused by human activity or by creating sinks that can capture greenhouse gases. Should the level of carbon dioxide (CO2) continue to increase, a resulting increase in the temperature of the plant will result. This will have serious consequences for life as we know it. This research is important because Climate Change Mitigation is a relatively new focus for municipalities in South Africa, including eThekwini Municipality. The traditional mental models for conceptualising the world and any problems will not be adequate for addressing Climate Change Mitigation issues. The key research questions that this research sets out to answer are: 1. What are the perceptions of municipal officials and politicians of inconsistent and conflicting national, provincial and local laws impact on service delivery in the area of Climate Change Mitigation? 2. What is the status quo of the Climate Change Mitigation area? 3. What are the current levels of understanding and ways in which Climate Change Mitigation policy is formulated? 4. In what way can applying CAS thinking in local government help improve the formulation of policies in the Climate Change Mitigation area? 5. How can OD assist with embedding CAS thinking in local government? The research will rest on Social Constructivism, while focusing on Qualitative data only. The Case study methodology has been selected as the strategy of inquiry. For practical purposes the population of this research has been limited to eThekwini Municipality officials and politicians. Interviews will be utilised to gather the primary, qualitative data. More often than not, when there are serious problems that government is trying to address the knee-jerk reaction is the formulation of turn-around strategies. While the intent of government is good, the same thinking that got government into trouble is used to create the potential solution. A new approach and mental model for government is needed for the formulation of solutions.
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