Other countries need to help fund South Africa’s new power plans: Ramaphosa

President Cyril Ramaphosa says that South Africa is committed to a move to green energy but will be heavily dependent on funding from other countries to achieve its goals.

In a column in the Financial Times, Ramaphosa said that his government had set a target range for net-zero carbon emissions by 2050.

The top of the range, 420 megatons of CO2 equivalent, is compatible with restricting global warming to less than 2C. In comparison, the bottom of the range (350 megatons) is consistent with the Paris accord goal of limiting warming to less than 1.5C, he said.

Given that South Africa’s total emissions are currently around 500 megatons of CO2 equivalent, this target will require a significant reduction in fossil fuel use, Ramaphosa said.

“Where we arrive in this range depends on the support we get. South Africa’s ambitions cannot be achieved without the more developed economies meeting promises they have made to provide financial assistance to developing economies in their energy transition,” he said

“This help must come in the form of grants, loans at concessional rates and private investment from international and local pools of finance. We are encouraged by the commitment that many of our international partners have shown to support this transition and to develop models of collaboration that could be applied in other countries.”

Ramaphosa said that this was not about charity but fairness and mutual benefit.

“Countries with developed economies carry the greatest responsibility for climate change because they have historically been the biggest polluters. Developing economies are the worst affected.

“Beyond the matter of support for a fair transition, the truth is that there will be no averting the global climate crisis if the path to net-zero does not include developing economies. At the COP26 summit, we have a window of opportunity to secure a just transition for all countries and to safeguard the future of our planet.”

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