South Africa: Ramaphosa's U.S.$11 Billion Climate Fund, or, How the Smart Money Could Turn Mpumalanga Into the Envy of the World

analysis

In a nation that's become used to operating in the shadows, sometimes even the mention of sunlight can be met with disbelief. But sunlight is what President Cyril Ramaphosa offered in his pledge to UN secretary-general Antonio Guterres during the climate summit in New York -- R160-billion worth, for a plan that could turn the Mpumalanga coalfields into one of the largest renewable energy generators on Earth.

If there's any reason to believe that we're about to embark on a massive industrialisation drive, a project that will drastically reduce our carbon emissions and deliver long-term energy security, it's that the economic alternatives are too dark to contemplate.

I.

For a moment it was light, then it was dark again.

On 24 September 2019, when most South Africans were embracing the public holiday as a welcome relief from the news, President Cyril Ramaphosa sent a statement to United Nations secretary-general Antonio Guterres that may have been the best news of the year. The pledge, South Africa's core submission to the UN Climate Action Summit in New York, made reference to an $11-billion renewables funding facility that would represent "the largest climate finance transaction" the world had ever seen. Two days later,...

More From: Daily Maverick

Don't Miss

AllAfrica publishes around 800 reports a day from more than 140 news organizations and over 500 other institutions and individuals, representing a diversity of positions on every topic. We publish news and views ranging from vigorous opponents of governments to government publications and spokespersons. Publishers named above each report are responsible for their own content, which AllAfrica does not have the legal right to edit or correct.

Articles and commentaries that identify allAfrica.com as the publisher are produced or commissioned by AllAfrica. To address comments or complaints, please Contact us.