Calls for More Countries to Support Just Energy Transition

By Sinazo Mkoko

On Thursday, November 30, His Excellency President Cyril Ramaphosa arrived in Dubai, leading a delegation that would represent South Africa in the United Nations climate focused Conference of Parties (COP28), which took place from November 30, 2023, – December 12, 2023. The participation of South Africa at COP28 is part of its national commitment, as outlined in the Just Energy Transition Investment Plan, to drastically reduce emissions in accordance with the 2015 Paris Agreement.

Calling On Countries To Participate in The South African Just Energy Transition

The South African government states that the Conference presents an opportunity to fast-track the energy transition by building the energy system of the future “while rapidly decarbonising the current energy system to keep 1.5°C within reach.” His Excellency President Cyril Ramaphosa presented to the United Nations Secretary General, Antonio Guterres, South Africa’s Implementation Plan for the Just Energy Transition (JET) Investment Plan.

JET Partners who have pledged to contribute up to 8.5-billion US dollars to South Africa’s efforts to reduce its carbon footprint and lessen the effects of climate change have also been informed about the initiative. He called for more countries to participate in efforts to end the effects of climate change on developing economies. “We are calling for more countries to participate, as our Just Energy Transition Plan requires much more funding, so that we can enable a more effective and positively impactful transition, particularly with respect to communities that are going to be affected as we transit from fossil fuel sources of energy to renewables.

He added that they want to see sharper focus coming from developed economies with respect to living up to their Paris commitments. “We still expect the 100-billion dollars that was promised to be made available to support countries that are least responsible for climate damage and manage the effects of climate change,” said President Ramaphosa. His Excellency President Ramaphosa emphasised the importance of multilateralism and solidarity in global climate action and warned against “unilateral, coercive, and trade-distorting approaches, such as carbon adjustment measures, that are going to be severely detrimental to developing economies.”

Progress Made On The Just Energy Transition

Approximately $11.6-billion in pledges, including $9.3-billion from the International Partners Group (IPG) have now been made to South Africa’s Just Energy Transition (JET). According to the UK government, several new development partners have joined the Just Energy Transition, and Denmark and the Netherlands have joined the Just Energy Transition Partnership’s (JETP) International Partners Group (IPG).

In a statement released, the government stated that the inclusion of “the Kingdom of the Netherlands and the Kingdom of Denmark in the IPG reflects confidence in South Africa’s JET and the JETP as a vehicle to support South Africa’s implementation of the JET IP. The original members of the IPG have increased their grant offer by 57% since COP26 (from $329-million to $517-million) and the overall increase in grant funding (including Netherlands and Denmark and other funders) to $716-million is 132%. 50% of the grant finance is already scoped and programmed,” they said.

Speaking at the launch of the South Africa Pavilion at COP28, the Minister of Forestry, Fisheries, and Environmental Affairs, Barbara Creecy, stated that the National Assembly adopted the Climate Change Bill in October, and in November, the Cabinet approved the Implementation Plan for the country’s Just Energy Transition. “This plan focuses on areas critical to a just transition, including investment in electricity infrastructure, new energy vehicles, green hydrogen, skills development, municipal electricity distribution, and interventions directed at communities most affected by the energy transition. There are also promising developments underway in our country to harness the potential of green hydrogen and to beneficiate critical minerals and rare earths in support of development and driving the green transition,” she said.

Hon. Creecy stated that the country is committed to contributing its best effort to reduce greenhouse gas emissions commensurate with the global temperature goal. “However, science tells us that even in a 2-degree world, extreme weather events will impact lives, livelihoods, food and water security, human and animal health, and the built environment. Hence, we must all adapt to the inevitable impacts of climate change. Accordingly, South Africa joins the rest of the continent in advocating for COP 28 to deliver a global goal on adaptation with clear targets and indicators.”

Sources: SAGov | The Presidency | UKGov |

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