West News Wire: According to two sources with knowledge of the situation, South Africa has presented an investment strategy to donors who have pledged $8.5 billion to support the nation’s transition to renewable energy.
Speaking on behalf of the administration on Thursday, Vincent Magwenya declined to clarify whether the plan had been presented but did acknowledge that it was ready.
Before being submitted to cabinet for approval, he added, a draft of the investment plan, which details the investments necessary to fulfill South Africa’s ambitious climate ambitions, has been finalized and will be discussed with key stakeholders.
The authorities are rushing to complete the agreement before the COP27 climate meetings, which will begin on November 6 in Egypt. The idea might serve as a template for other rising economies who want to renewable energy.
The funds have been promised by France, Germany, the European Union, the United Kingdom and the United States during the last climate talks in Glasgow, to kick-start South Africa’s move from coal to renewable energy, mostly offered in the form of concessional loans.
In order to get the needed $8.5bn from donors, South Africa must show its plan will reduce its carbon emission by more than it was planning to do under already existing climate commitments.
However, the shift of South Africa’s economy into renewable energy is estimated to cost at least $250bn over the next three decades.
South Africa is the world’s 12th biggest carbon emitter 430 megatonnes of CO2 in 2019 placing it five places ahead of Britain, an economy eight times its size.
Currently, 80 percent of South Africa’s power generation comes from coal fuels. Consequently, it aims to become a hub for green hydrogen and electric vehicle manufacturing.
Magwenya reiterated the government’s position that there was a funding shortage to be addressed in the deal but would not say how big it was.
The country has been experiencing its worst year of electricity outages, with state-owned energy provider Eskom, which generates more than 90 percent of South Africa’s power, struggling to meet demands.