South Africa has submitted an investment plan to donors who have pledged $8.5bn to help the country’s transition to renewable energy, according to two sources familiar with the matter.
On Thursday, presidency spokesperson Vincent Magwenya confirmed that the plan was ready but declined to say whether it had been submitted.
“A draft of the investment plan, which outlines the investments required to achieve South Africa’s ambitious climate targets … has been finalised and will be shared with key stakeholders before it is submitted to cabinet for approval,” he said.
The officials are racing to finish the deal before the COP27 climate talks that will take place in Egypt, starting on November 6. The proposal could become a potential model for other emerging economies that seek to transition from coal to renewable energy.
The funds have been promised by France, Germany, the European Union, the United Kingdom and the United States during the last climate talks in Glasgow, to kick-start South Africa’s move from coal to renewable energy, mostly offered in the form of concessional loans.
In order to get the needed $8.5bn from donors, South Africa must show its plan will reduce its carbon emission by more than it was planning to do under already existing climate commitments.
However, the shift of South Africa’s economy into renewable energy is estimated to cost at least $250bn over the next three decades.
South Africa is the world’s 12th biggest carbon emitter – 430 megatonnes of CO2 in 2019 – placing it five places ahead of Britain, an economy eight times its size.
Currently, 80 percent of South Africa’s power generation comes from coal fuels. Consequently, it aims to become a hub for green hydrogen and electric vehicle manufacturing.
Magwenya reiterated the government’s position that there was a funding shortage to be addressed in the deal but would not say how big it was.
The country has been experiencing its worst year of electricity outages, with state-owned energy provider Eskom, which generates more than 90 percent of South Africa’s power, struggling to meet demands.
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