Govt says emissions to fall from 2025, in finance talks

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South Africa, the world’s 12th-biggest emitter of greenhouse gases, said its total emissions will begin to decline in 2025 and disclosed that it’s in talks to secure finance to transition to the use of more clean energy.

The decline in emissions of climate warming gases is a decade earlier than planned in the previous target and will result from the adoption of a tougher goal, or nationally determined contribution, ahead of the COP26 international climate talks. 

“More ambitious achievement will require significant multilateral financial support and technological transfer,” the country’s environment department said in a statement Wednesday. “Discussions in this regard are ongoing with a range of governments and financing institutions.”

South Africa depends on coal for almost all of its power generation and about a third of its motor fuel is made from coal. Government officials are due to meet with a delegation from the U.S., U.K., France and Germany in the coming days to discuss support for a program of closing coal-fired power plants and building more renewable energy facilities.

South Africa’s cabinet said Monday that it had adopted an annual emission target of 350 megatons to 420 megatons of carbon dioxide equivalent by 2030, an improvement from an earlier proposal of 398 megatons to 440 megatons. South Africa’s previous NDC, set in 2015, had an upper limit of 614 megatons for 2030.

The updated NDC also includes climate adaptation goals for the first time. 

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