UK PACT has partnered with South Africa to support action on just transition pathways and a low-carbon economic recovery.
As the third largest economy in Africa, South Africa plays a critical role in economic and policy priority setting at a continental level and across the Southern Africa region. South Africa’s long-standing participation in the United Nations Framework Convention for Climate Change (UNFCCC) processes creates a solid platform for an impactful and transformational UK PACT partnership. Moreover, UK PACT seeks to support climate action that will contribute to the realisation of other development imperatives in South Africa, such as job creation and poverty alleviation.
Priority areas of focus for UK PACT in South Africa are aligned with key national priorities in the just energy transition, renewable energy, energy efficiency, sustainable transport, and sustainable finance. UK PACT projects can contribute to addressing industry-wide constraints, common metropolitan challenges, and bringing city, provincial and national level public and private partners together to address climate priorities.
Project lead - GreenCape
“The foundational work of the green economy cluster in Mpumalanga could result in significant green economy investment and job creation in South Africa.” - Mike Mulcahy, CEO, GreenCape
This project will develop a Green Economy Cluster organisation, bringing together actors for green investment and green job creation in Mpumalanga. The Cluster will create the favourable conditions needed for the most ambitious scenarios within the South African Renewable Energy Masterplan.
Project lead - Carbon Trust
“The Energy Performance Certificate legislation is the first step in understanding the energy use of the existing building stock in South Africa. This project heralds that first step towards a lower carbon future for cities and towns.” - Lisa Reynolds, CEO, GBCSA
This initiative will help develop a National Building Energy Performance Register (NBEPR) to support South Africa’s new mandatory energy performance certificate regulations to drive energy efficiency in buildings.
Project lead - National Business Initiative (NBI)
“Our project offers an excellent opportunity to unlock and channel local and international support and investment to high need and impact areas. It is an important platform for mobilising coordinated, cross-industry collaboration.” - Steve Nicholls, Head of Environment, NBI
This project will work with the South African business community, forming a collective position on a more ambitious Nationally Determined Contribution (NDC) for South Africa ahead of COP26. It will also model scenarios for low carbon, climate resilient development pathways and champion a green, resilient recovery from COVID-19.
Project lead - Trade & Industrial Policy Strategies (TIPS)
“This project is the first meaningful attempt at truly co-developing a just transition in South Africa with vulnerable stakeholders at its core.” - Gaylor Montmasson-Clair, Senior Economist, TIPS
This project will focus on the two most coal-dependent municipalities in Mpumalanga (eMalahleni and Steve Tshwete) to co-develop a coherent just transition plan that is inclusive of affected communities.
Project lead - ICLEI: Local Governments for Sustainability
“This is a unique opportunity to harness city-scale innovation in developing renewable energy embedded generation projects that can transform the energy mix of municipalities, improving lives and contributing to national climate change objectives”. - Dr Meggan Spires, Africa Director, ICLEI
This project will support under-resourced municipalities to prepare pre-feasibility studies for embedded generation projects such as solar and wind power. They will then be supported to submit these to the Development Bank of South Africa’s Embedded Generation Investment Programme (EGIP) or to private investors to attract funding.
Project lead - South African Institute of International Affairs (SAIIA)
“The project will work with key government institutions and stakeholders to explore skills transition and employment opportunities linked to the future green hydrogen economy and make recommendations to accelerate a just energy transition.” - Dr Deon Cloete, Head of SAIIA Futures Programme
This project will contribute to the national roadmap for the future hydrogen economy in South Africa. SAIIA's project will assess the technical and vocational education and training (TVET) college system and help equip it to supply highly skilled graduates for the emerging green hydrogen market.
Project lead - Sustainable Energy Africa (SEA)
“Cities and electric utilities that embrace the growing EV market and are proactive to the opportunity, will benefit greatly from this new customer base.” - Megan Euston-Brown, Director, Sustainable Energy Africa
This project will work with municipal officials to build capacity for the roll out of electrical vehicles (EV) in the city of Johannesburg, focusing on electricity grid capacity and requirements, charging infrastructure needs, and the financial resources required.
Project lead - Nelson Mandela University
“This project supports capacity-building for implementing the Green Transport Strategy for South Africa and will develop skills of key decision makers on electric road transport, charging infrastructure and international best practices.” - Hiten Parmar, uYilo e-Mobility Programme Director
This project will build capacity and knowledge at a national level to support the Department of Transport’s aim within the Green Transport Strategy of reaching 5% fleet conversion by 2025. The project outcomes will include guidelines and standards for electric road transport and charging infrastructure, as well as the development of green procurement guidelines to promote electric vehicle fleets.
Project lead - National Business Initiative (NBI)
“The project offers a way to tie the financial sector back to the real economy by providing a clear set of definitions for what “counts” towards sustainability in South Africa.” - Steve Nicholls, Head of Environment, NBI
This project will undertake critically important work to expand the country’s Green Finance Taxonomy (GFT) to a Sustainable Finance Taxonomy (SFT) and begin to embed it amongst key stakeholders. The sustainable finance taxonomy is an essential tool that will help economic actors allocate capital in a way that is more consistent with the vision for a development-focused, climate-resilient economy.
Project lead - DNA Economics
“The goal is to embed the detailed, useful and timeous disclosure of climate-related financial risks and opportunities as an accepted norm in South Africa, mirroring the experience of international markets like the UK and EU.” - Brent Cloete, Project Lead, DNA Economics
This project will develop a tool for companies and financial institutions to effectively consider climate-related financial risks and opportunities (CFROs) when making investment decisions. This will enable investors to factor climate risk into investment decisions and adjust investment patterns to avoid carbon locked investments and the chance of stranded assets later on.
The first South Africa-UK PACT funding round closed in August 2020.
Projects were assessed as part of an open call to prospective applicants following two stages: 1) Expression of Interest (EOI) to outline how a proposed project responds to the call; and 2) a request for detailed proposals for those shortlisted at the EOI stage.