A key element of South Africa's future development is the issue of energy and climate change.
An economy dependant on coal
Enlarge image (© dpa/pa)
In the international dialogue on climate change, South Africa is an important partner. In worldwide climate discussions the country has signalled its readiness to commit to emission reduction goals for its coal-based energy industry. However, its abundance of coal induces inefficient electricity use and is a major source of severe pollution. Besides, South Africa has neglected modernisation investments for years, putting its electricity security at risk.
High CO2 emissions
South Africa is one of the 15 biggest emitters of greenhouse gases worldwide and number one on the continent. Coal combustion releases almost 10 tons of carbon dioxide per capita per year. This emission rate is 43 percent above the global average and therefore a very high level for an emerging economy. Even though, low electricity tariffs and less stringent emissions standards attract heavy industry and mining. They consume more than 50 percent of the electricity.
Enlarge image (© picture-alliance/dpa) Since 2008 climate and energy have therefore been priority areas of cooperation in German Development Cooperation (DC) with South Africa. There is potential for cooperation particularly in the field of renewable energy resources, but also in energy efficiency in the industrial as well as the transport sector. Different programmes of the German Development Cooperation are designed to support South Africa in reducing its carbon footprint as well as contributing towards a constant sustainable energy supply. On the one hand the South African-German Energy Programme (SAGEN) strives to improve framework conditions for increased investments in renewable energy and energy efficiency. On the other hand the Climate Support Programme (CSP) assists with the implementation of the South African Government's white paper on the national climate policy with expert knowledge.
Advice and training
Enlarge image (© GIZ/Stubbs) Advice and cooperation in improving the institutional framework, in the diverse aspects of emissions trading, and in climate change adaptation are integral parts of German Development Cooperation.
This also applies to basic and advanced training of professionals in this field. The German DC is trying to have its impact on driving the supply of green qualifications forward on stimulating the demand for graduates of green economy branches of education with its Skills Development for Green Jobs (SfGJ) Programme.