South Africa Announces R1.5 Trillian Just Energy Transition Investment Plan

  • President Cyril Ramaphosa has unveiled the South African government’s Just Energy Transition Investment Plan (JET-IP) ahead of COP27 which kicks off in Sharm El Sheikh, Egypt, tomorrow.
  • Ramaphosa will travel to the Summit next week as leader of the South African Government delegation. 
  • The majority of R1.5 trillian plan will be directed to the electricity sector, which involves decommissioning coal power plants and strengthening the transmission grid.

Recently, the Cabinet and Inter-Ministerial Committee (IMC) on the Just Energy Transition Partnership endorsed the Investment Plan (JET-IP) as the basis for widespread public discussion on South Africa’s pathway towards a low carbon and climate resilient society.

Government will engage with different sectors on the investment plan, including through the Presidential Climate Commission which will facilitate discussion among different stakeholders in society.

Related news: is COP27 just a talk fest or does the meeting really matter?

The investment plan outlines government’s comprehensive priority investment and financing interventions required to achieve decarbonisation commitments and ensuring an equitable and just transition.

The investment plan comes a year since the announcement of the Just Energy Transition Partnership (JETP) forged at the global climate conference, COP26, in November 2021. The partnership is aimed at supporting South Africa’s energy transition. The International Partner Group working with South Africa on this initiative comprises France, Germany, the European Union, the United Kingdom, and the United States of America.

Addressing the Commission yesterday, President Ramaphosa said South Africa’s Just Energy Transition Investment Plan outlined the scale of need and the investments required to achieve the country’s decarbonisation commitments, “and to do so while promoting sustainable development and ensuring a just transition for affected workers and communities.

“It is about addressing the global risks of climate change while creating jobs and driving more rapid and inclusive economic growth.”

President Ramaphosa emphasised the need for adequate financial support for a just transition that must include a significantly larger grant funding component to ensure the implementation of active labour market policies, reskilling and upskilling as well as the creation of new industries on a considerable scale.

Emphasising the need for continuous dialogue, transparency and stakeholder ownership of the plan, Deputy Chairperson of the Commission, Mr Valli Moosa said: “The successful catalysation of priority interventions under JET IP and the broader just energy aspirations of South Africa rely on on-going engagement and inclusion of all social partners to ensure our country plans reflect the needs of affected constituencies and achieves a just and inclusive impact.”

Mr Daniel Mminele, Head of the Presidential Climate Finance Task Team, underscored for the Commission the key features of the investment plan which is aimed at supporting South Africa’s goal of establishing a low-carbon and climate-resilient society.

The investment plan recognises that fossil fuel-dependent countries such as South Africa require significant support for a just energy transition, aligned with developed economies’ obligations to support developing economies under the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change and the Paris Climate Agreement.

The investment plan contributes to building resilience to transition risks and fostering social preparedness as South Africa shifts its energy system and grows new green industries.

Funding support through the the Just Energy Transition Partnership is an an important contribution to the achieving the ambition set out in the investment plan.

The portfolio of investments and other interventions in the investment plan reflect an intersectoral and just transition approach and focuses on location and sector-specific vulnerabilities.

President Ramaphosa has announced the appointment of new members to the Presidential Climate Commission.

The new commissioners are:

  • Bishop Malusi Mpumlwana Secretary general of the SA Council of Churches
  • Dr Shafik Adams, of the Water Research Commission
  • Mr Lungisa Fuzile, Chief Executive of Standard Bank SA
  • Ms Zama Khanyile, from the National Empowerment Fund
  • Mr Nicholaas Janse van Rensburg Rabie of Agri SA.

“I welcome you and look forward to your selfless contribution and engagement and in the same breath thank commissioners who served the country in this sector since the inception of this Commission,” said President Ramaphosa.

Link to the South Africa’s Just Energy Transition Investment Plan HERE  (scroll down to documents).

Author: Bryan Groenendaal

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