SA climate change mitigation projects receive UK funding boost

UK PACT South Africa has announced a project portfolio of over £3 million ($4.16 million) to support the South African government’s climate change priorities.

Following the launch of the programme’s first call for proposals in South Africa on 10 July 2020, the British High Commission announced the allocation of more than £3 million in grant funding to 10 climate change mitigation projects under its UK Partnering for Accelerated Climate Transitions (UK PACT) Programme.

The projects were selected through a competitive process and respond to the climate change mitigation priorities of a number of key government institutions. These institutional priorities all support South Africa’s just transition to a low-carbon, inclusive, climate-resilient economy and society. The organizations leading the projects and their partners will build capacity, raise awareness and offer technical assistance to a range of national, provincial, and municipal government stakeholders. The projects will be implemented by a number of local and international organizations from the private and non-governmental sectors, civil society, and academia.

Nigel Casey, the British High Commissioner: “As host of COP26 and a long-standing development, trade, and investment partner, I am delighted that we are launching this range of projects aimed at supporting green, resilient, and inclusive economic growth in South Africa. The world is focusing on both climate and COVID-19 recovery and we want to support South Africa to be at the forefront of the movement to build back better.

Climate change mitigation and adaption won’t happen without the financing

As COP26 President Designate, the UK is committed to ensuring that an ambitious and equitable outcome is achieved at Glasgow in 2021. This means attaching equal priority to the three pillars of the Paris Agreement – mitigation, adaptation and finance. Despite the challenge that COVID-19 has brought to all economies, the UK has committed to double its International Climate Finance (ICF) over the next 5 years to £11.6 billion ($16.08 billion). Through its ICF commitment, the UK can support green recovery efforts in more than 100 countries, including South Africa, and results to date demonstrate the transformative impact that ICF programmes like UK PACT can have.

The selected projects focus on three priority areas of climate change action and greenhouse gas emissions reduction.

ENERGY: As arguably the most salient challenge confronting South Africa’s energy sector, four projects have been selected focussing on the just energy transition. These projects will support beneficiaries at municipal, provincial, and national government levels to formulate energy transition pathways that are inclusive of vulnerable communities, identify new employment opportunities within the green economy, and capacitate various actors in the energy sector to implement low-carbon energy technologies.

In addition, two projects have been selected which will work to support the implementation of higher energy efficiency standards in buildings and the uptake of renewable and alternative clean fuels such as hydrogen.

SUSTAINABLE MOBILITY: Two projects will work to support the policy framework set out in the country’s Green Transport Strategy, particularly with regard to ramping up South Africa’s transition towards electric vehicles and low-carbon mobility.

SUSTAINABLE FINANCE: Two projects will help drive access to green finance and scale up sustainable investment in South Africa through transparency and climate-related risk management.

Projects and implementing partners working for change

The full list of projects:

  • Distilling the Just Energy Transition in SA: Harmonising Conflict and Seeking Opportunities implemented by Trade and Industrial Policy Strategies (TIPS as Lead, NALEDI, Peta Wolpe, GroundWork
  • Climate Transitions Protocol implemented by National Business Initiative (NBI)
  • Building the Green Hydrogen Economy Just Energy Transition: Co-creating a Just Labour Transition through the TVET College System in SA implemented by the South African Institute of International Affairs (Lead), TIPS, UCT Energy Research Centre, KPMG, Bambili Energy
  • The Development of a Green Economy Cluster Organisation to Support Mpumalanga’s Role in the Validation, Implementation, and Follow-on Research of the SAREM implemented by GreenCape
  • Alternative Financing Models for Embedded Generation of Renewable Energy in South African Municipalities implemented ICLEI Africa (Lead), Rebel Group and 3E
  • Operationalising Energy Performance Certificates (EPCs) in South Africa implemented by Carbon Trust (Lead) and GBCSA
  • Shifting the Transport Paradigm – Electric Vehicles implemented by Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University (NMMU) and CENEX
  • Electric Vehicle Readiness in the City of Johannesburg implemented by Sustainable Energy Africa
  • Driving the green agenda through aligning South Africa’s climate-related financial disclosure with global best practice implemented by DNA Economics (Lead), The GreenHouse, Vivid Economics and WWF-SA
  • Expanding the South African Green Finance Taxonomy and Embedding its use implemented by NBI (Lead) and Carbon Trust.

You can track real-time data on approved public finance and policy measures targeting energy generation and consumption to stimulate economies in response to the COVID-19 pandemic at the International Institute for Sustainable Development’s Energy Policy Tracker online.

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