Air pollution is the world’s most critical environmental health risk. South Africa’s use of fossil fuels produces hundreds of millions of tonnes of emissions annually.
COP26 saw South Africa make a public commitment to greening its economy. But, can non-renewable resources be part of this transition?
The mission of the Department of Energy is to “regulate and transform the sector for the provision of secure, sustainable and affordable energy”.
Agriculture is both a victim and culprit of climate change. The sector is a major source of greenhouse gas emissions and is acutely vulnerable to the effects of climate change.
South Africa is a coal-dependent country. Coal makes up 74 per cent of the country’s total electricity supply. In the first quarter of 2021, 81.8 per cent of South Africa’s electricity came from coal.
Energy is essential for the functioning of any modern economy. South Africa’s Central Energy Fund (CEF) does the vital job of maintaining that energy supply.
South Africa’s Integrated Resource Plan (IRP) is the country’s long-term energy plan until 2030. It became official government policy in October 2019.
The Independent Power Producers (IPP) procurement programme is part of the South African government’s answer to its energy generation shortage.
The main greenhouse gas is carbon dioxide (CO2), produced by burning fossil fuels. South Africa is the biggest emitter of greenhouse gases on the African continent.
South Africa’s Low Emission Development Strategy 2050 is the country’s most recent emissions reductions plan.
Since 2003, the South African government has been funding free electricity for the poorest households. This is because it recognises that poverty is a barrier to electricity access.
This phase-down of coal will bring significant changes to South Africa. This makes the need for a just transition away from coal fundamental to ensure no one is left behind.