A ground-breaking political declaration among South Africa, France, Germany, the United Kingdom, the United States, and the EU, was made in the ongoing COP26 conference in Glasgow to support South Africa with an accelerated “just energy transition”.
The declaration on this new ambitious, long-term Just Energy Transition Partnership will support South Africa’s decarbonization efforts by providing financial aid of USD 8.5 billion, with an aim to achieve the target presented in its updated Nationally Determined Contribution (NDC) emissions goals.
The initial commitment of the amount can be available over the next 3-5 years through various mechanisms including multilateral and bilateral grants, concessional loans, investments, including mobilizing the private sector.
On this occasion, President Cyril Ramaphosa said, “South Africa welcomes the commitment made in the Political Declaration to supporting the implementation of our revised Nationally Determined Contribution, which represents our country’s ambitious effort to support the global battle against climate change.
“We look forward to a long-term partnership that can serve as an appropriate model of support for climate action from developed to developing countries, recognizing the importance of a just transition to a low carbon, climate-resilient society that promotes employment and livelihoods.”
The partnership looks forward to preventing up to 1-1.5 gigatonnes of emissions over the next 20 years duration and assisting South Africa to move away from coal and accelerate its transition towards a clean, climate-resilient economy.
A report published last month by the Centre for Research on Energy and Clean Air (CREA) says that South African electricity public utility, Eskom is “world’s most polluting power company”.
The financial support will help it to accelerate investment in renewable energy and the development of new sectors like electric vehicles and green hydrogen, and ensure Eskom acquires funds to re-purpose its coal-fired power stations due to be decommissioned in the next 15 years.
It is also required to use the fund to ensure communities dependent on coal mining or coal power stations for jobs have greener alternatives to make a living as part of that process.