South Africa tells Western envoys it needs financial support to switch from coal
JOHANNESBURG, Sept.29 (Reuters) – South Africa told visiting US, British, German and French climate emissaries that it needed major financial support to move away from coal, said on Wednesday the Ministry of the Environment.
South Africa is the 12th carbon emitter in the world, according to the Global Carbon Atlas, five places ahead of the United Kingdom, an economy eight times the size, emitting 479 million tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent (Mt CO2e) in 2019. It is also by far the largest emitter in Africa.
This month, the government adopted a more ambitious emissions reduction target of 350 to 420 Mt CO2e per year by 2030, weeks before the UN climate summit COP26, where it hopes to wrestle some money to rich countries for a faster transition to renewable energies.
“As South Africa is engaged in a just transition (to cleaner energy sources), we need the certainty of… funding… to accelerate this transition. We need an irrevocable agreement that we can sign at COP26, ”said the Ministry of the Environment.
South Africa’s struggling state power company, which produces most of its electricity by burning coal – more than 80% of the country’s electricity is produced this way – wants billions of dollars to replace its highly polluting coal-fired power stations with cleaner alternatives.
A South African delegation made up of environment, trade and public enterprise ministers and deputy finance and foreign ministers met with Western climate envoys on Tuesday.
He told them that financial support should include substantially concessional finance and grants that take into account South Africa’s current fiscal constraints.
Reporting by Alexander Winning Editing by Tim Cocks, William Maclean