South Africa says $750bn a year needed for climate goals

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Minister of Environment, Forestry and Fisheries, Barbara Creecy  (Photo by Gallo Images/Sharon Seretlo).
Minister of Environment, Forestry and Fisheries, Barbara Creecy (Photo by Gallo Images/Sharon Seretlo).
Sharon Seretlo
  • Countries at the COP26 UN should target mobilising $750 billion a year to support climate goals, according to Environment, Forestry and Fisheries Minister Barbara Creecy.
  • The goal is significantly higher than the $100 billion a year that was set for 2020, but which rich countries have failed to deliver on.
  • Creecy spoke at the Presidential Climate Change Commission's third meeting on Friday.

Environment, Forestry and Fisheries Minister Barbara Creecy said countries at the COP26 UN climate talks in November should set a target of mobilising $750 billion per year from developed countries to help poorer nations transition to greener energy.

Creecy, who spoke at a Presidential Climate Commission meeting in South Africa on Friday, said she made the suggestion to peers from 50 countries at a meeting in London this month ahead of the summit.

The goal is significantly higher than the $100 billion per year that was set for 2020, but which rich countries have failed to deliver on. In negotiations leading up to COP26, a compromise is emerging to push the date to 2025.

She has repeatedly stressed that South Africa needed access to international finance if it was to reduce a reliance on coal that made it the world's 12th-biggest emitter of greenhouse gases.

"Finance is central to the ability of developing countries to advance their ambition on both mitigation and adaptation," Creecy said.

"Our suggestion is that post-2025, we most move from a floor of $100 billion," she added. "Taking the needs of developing nations into account, we must move toward a collective goal of mobilising $750 billion a year from public and private sources."

Creecy said the $100 billion agreed to now must be honored to create trust.

The commission's meeting - which focused on the electricity sector - included presentations from Eskom CEO André de Ruyter. Most of the country's green house gas emissions are from the electricity sector.

De Ruyter said Eskom was considering about 8GW of new projects, which would require funding.

These include PV, wind, gas, microgrids and battery.

"We do believe this is a very interesting and attractive portfolio of projects that can be initiated, pending the release of funding, in order to ensure that we can launch the new technologies as quickly as possible," he added.

This is to address the generation capacity shortfall, De Ruyter said.

He added it was important South Africa played a leading role in COP26.

"In our engagements with lenders and donor governments, it's been made clear that if South Africa does not take advantage of the opportunity presented by COP26, it is likely we will be moved to the back of the queue. There are a number of competitive countries that are also developing their own plans. For the moment, South Africa is at the front of the queue, but other countries are rapidly catching up."

Additional reporting by Fin24.

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