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For Cyril Ramaphosa, climate change and the climate crisis go hand in hand.

South Africa's energy policy. | Posted on 2021-10-13 15:17

President Cyril Ramaphosa said South Africa was making detailed plans to enable a just transition to a low carbon economy and also highlighted the effects of climate change.

In his weekly newsletter written yesterday, Mr Ramaphosa said the electricity sector, which contributes 41% of South Africa's greenhouse gas emissions, would be the first phase of the transition.

“It will be the fastest industry to decarbonize and will have a beneficial impact on the entire economy. We will dismantle and reallocate coal-fired power plants and invest in new low-carbon generation capacity, such as renewables. We will also pursue 'green' industrialization, in particular, the emphasis will be on the production tool using green technologies and a shift to the production of electric vehicles, ” said President Ramaphosa.

Mr Ramaphosa added that South Africa was endowed with abundant resources which could be harnessed to open new frontiers of investment and growth and build a new economy in areas such as green hydrogen.

The government is working with various societal partners in the mining towns of Mpumalanga to assess the potential impact of abandoning coal and ways to ensure that communities are protected from the risks and benefit from the opportunities offered by this. transition, he said.

“Eskom will undertake a pilot project at its Komati plant, which is due to close its last coal plant next year, in order to generate electricity from renewable energies. Komati will be a good example of how this shift in dependence on coal could be achieved, ” he said.

Damaging new research from the Energy and Clean Air Research Center released last week found that Eskom emits more sulfur dioxide (SO2) than the entire EU energy sector and the United States, or the United States and China, combined. The experts' analysis concluded that only India's electricity sector accounts for more SO2 emissions than Eskom. Indeed, the public electricity supplier produces 75% of the electricity through the combustion of coal. This highly polluting technique is the cause of two thousand two hundred deaths per year. This is the death toll attributed to sulfur dioxide pollution in South Africa. A poisonous gas generated by the combustion of coal. Many lives are at stake, warns Liz McDaid of the NGO The Green Connection.

We're talking about thousands of people who live directly in the shadow of power plants that spew sulfur dioxide above government standards . "

Investing in power plants to make them cleaner would cost Eskom too much. The public electricity company is heavily in debt. On the occasion of COP26, Eskom hopes to convince international donors to release $ 10 billion to finance its energy transition.

Mr Ramaphosa said South Africans are impacted by the effects of climate change and that the government is engaging with its international development partners on a “just transition” funding mechanism to support its decarbonization plan.

He said climate change poses serious health, environmental and economic risks to the country and that South Africans are already feeling the effects of climate change through drought and flooding, which are affecting their means. subsistence.

“Several communities in Mpumalanga, for example, are affected by high levels of pollution, which increases respiratory and other illnesses. Those who depend on the ocean for a living have already seen depleted fish stocks amid changing weather patterns and changes in ocean temperature , ”said Mr Ramaphosa.

He said the government is engaging with its international development partners on a transition finance mechanism to support the country's carbon footprint reduction strategy.

The Cabinet recently approved the update to the Nationally Determined Contribution (NDC), which sets a target range for emissions, from limiting global warming to less than 2 degrees Celsius at the top of the range, the lower end that may be compatible with the goal of limiting warming to less than 1.5 degrees Celsius.

President Ramaphosa said this ambitious policy could not be achieved without the support of the most developed economies to live up to the promises they have made in the past to provide financial support to developing economies.

“It has to take the form of grants, loans at preferential rates and private investment. The energy transition at Eskom and the development of green industries such as electric vehicles and green hydrogen should be supported by these forms of financial support ” , stressed Mr Ramaphosa.

The most polluting energy company in the world is South Africa. It is Eskom the public electricity supplier which produces 75% of the electricity from the combustion of coal. This technique emits sulfur dioxide, which is very polluting.

Two thousand two hundred deaths per year. This is the death toll attributed to sulfur dioxide pollution in South Africa. A poisonous gas generated by the combustion of coal. Many lives are at stake, warns Liz McDaid of the NGO The Green Connection.

“We're talking about thousands of people who live directly in the shadow of power plants that spew sulfur dioxide above government standards. "

Investing in power plants to make them cleaner would cost Eskom too much. The public electricity company is heavily in debt. On the occasion of COP26, Eskom hopes to convince international donors to release $ 10 billion to finance its energy transition.

Posted on 2021-10-13 15:17

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