South Africa’s fossil fuel dependence could cost the country close to R 2- trillion over the next 15 years
JOHANNESBURG – According to a new report by the Climate Policy Initiative (CPI), South Africa risks incurring in up to R 2-trillion ($124 bn) of “transition risk” costs between 2013 and 2035, if the country does not rapidly implement measures to reduce its dependence from fossil fuels and enact a low-carbon transition.
The report also states that it would be cheaper for South Africa to accelerate a low-carbon transition than to keep pursuing fossil fuel based energy production.
350Africa’s Divestment campaigner, Ahmed Mokgopa, commented:
“Over the last few months, 350Africa.org has called on the Development Bank of Southern Africa (DBSA) to not fund any new coal-fired power plants in South Africa and, in particular, the proposed Thabametsi coal-fired power station which will impact the water quality and availability in an already water-scarce Lephalale. While we welcome the DBSA’s investments in renewable energy initiatives, these positive steps risk being undermined by support for coal infrastructure.”
“The CPI report is a strong signal for the South African government and development finance institutions like the DBSA to assess whether their currently planned investments in the energy sector are making climate change a priority. Patrick Dlamini, CEO of the DBSA, said that ‘it would be irresponsible [of the DBSA] not to investigate these risks more thoroughly’.
The DBSA has the expertise, the institutional capacity, and are empowered to close the investment gap in climate solutions and align their investments with the Paris Agreement to avoid locking in a carbon-intensive development trajectory. This report clearly shows that the time to act on the climate crisis and the related fossil fuel exposure is now. If current decision-makers fail to do what needs to be done, today’s youth and their children will be paying a crippling price”