President Cyril Ramaphosa has joined other world leaders in a historic partnership to support South Africa’s transition to a low-carbon economy and a climate-resilient society.
The agreement includes France, Germany, the United Kingdom, the United States and the European Union.
In preparation for COP26, South Africa submitted a revised Nationally Determined Contribution (NDC) to reduce domestic carbon emissions within a target range of between 420 CO2-eq and 350 CO2-eq by 2030.
“This revised target is compatible with the ambitious goals of the Paris Agreement and represents our country’s best effort to confront climate change, which will have a devastating impact on sub-Saharan Africa without large-scale mitigation and adaptation efforts,” said Ramaphosa.
Through the political declaration issued on Tuesday to establish this partnership, partner countries will mobilise an initial R131 billion ($8.5 billion) over the next three to five years through a range of instruments, including grants and concessional finance.
The money is intended to support the implementation of revised NDCs through the transition to a low-carbon and climate-resilient economy.
“The highly concessional finance that will be mobilised through this partnership will accelerate investment in renewable energy and the development of new sectors such as electric vehicles and green hydrogen,” said Ramaphosa.
“This will provide a significant boost to investment and growth while ensuring Eskom can access resources to finance repurposing of coal-fired power stations due for decommissioning over the next 15 years.”
Ramaphosa reiterated that climate change was an existential challenge that affected the global population, and promised that South Africa remained committed to playing its part in reducing global emissions.
“The partnership that we have established today is a watershed moment not only for our own just transition but for the world as a whole;” said the president.
“It is proof that we can take ambitious climate action while increasing our energy security, creating jobs and harnessing new opportunities for investment, with support from developed economies.”
At the heart of this partnership will be the “just transition to green energy”, which includes support for workers and communities affected by the transition away from coal.
“For the transition to be just, decarbonisation must be implemented in a manner that promotes and sustains employment, livelihoods and economic inclusion for historically marginalised communities and sectors of our society,” said Ramaphosa.
A joint task force will be established to take forward the partnership over the coming months.
Compiled by Narissa Subramoney