The governments of South Africa, France, Germany, the United Kingdom and the United States of America, along with the European Union, announced on November 2 a new ambitious, long-term Just Energy Transition Partnership to support South Africa’s decarbonisation efforts.
“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,” South Africa President Cyril Ramaphosa said. “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, recognising the importance of a just transition to a low carbon, climate resilient society that promotes employment and livelihoods,” he added.
UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson said this game-changing partnership will set a precedent for how countries can work together to accelerate the transition to clean, green energy and technology. “Moving away from coal is essential if we are to meet our target of limiting global warming to 1.5 degrees. President Ramaphosa has shown real leadership on this issue, and the United Kingdom is committed to working with South Africa and our partners to support a just and fair transition to renewable energy,” Johnson said.
US President Joe Biden noted that the US, together with the UK, France, Germany and the EU is announcing a new partnership with South Africa to help transform their economy to a clean energy economy more quickly. “Right now, South Africa is the largest emitter in Africa due in large part to the heavy reliance on coal for power. By closing South African coal plants ahead of schedule and investing in clean power alternatives for the people of South Africa and supporting an equitable and inclusive transition in South Africa’s coal sector, we are following through on the pledge the G7 partners made in Cornwall to accelerate the transition away from coal in developing countries,” Biden said.
France’s President Emmanuel Macron said this new partnership mobilises very significant support for South Africa’s ambitious decarbonisation project for a just energy transition. “It will benefit from the long-standing cooperation between France and South Africa through the work of the Agence française de développement. And we hope it will set the standard for other such partnerships in the future. France stands ready,” Macron said.
For her part, German Chancellor Angela Merkel said her country is pleased to be part of this important partnership with South Africa and can share its experience with a just transition. “We are committed to supporting both the decarbonisation of South Africa‘s electricity production and the development of new economic opportunities for affected communities,” Merkel said.
European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen noted that this partnership is a global first and could become a template on how to support just transition around the world. “By joining forces, we can speed up the phasing out of coal in partner countries, while supporting vulnerable communities that depend on it. Ensuring a just transition is a priority for the EU, both at home and abroad,” she said.
According to the European Commission, the Partnership aims to accelerate the decarbonisation of South Africa’s economy, with a focus on the electricity system, to help it achieve the ambitious goals set out in its updated Nationally Determined Contribution emissions goals.
It will mobilise an initial commitment of $8.5 billion for the first phase of financing, through various mechanisms including grants, concessional loans and investments and risk sharing instruments, including to mobilise the private sector, the EU Commission said.
The Partnership is expected to prevent up to 1-1.5 gigatonnes of emissions over the next 20 years and support South Africa to move away from coal and to accelerate its transition to a low emission, climate resilient economy.
Source: New Europe