“Africa doesn’t need decarbonisation — we need energy.”
This was the view of University of the Witwatersrand renewable energy expert Prof Lwazi Ngubevana who spoke about a just energy transition and energy mix in the economy at the first pre-colloquium event in Johannesburg on Friday.
The dialogue was hosted by the department of forestry, fisheries and the environment (DFFE) and the department of mineral resources & energy and energy (DMRE).
Prof Ngubevana’s view is that if Europe uses twice as much energy as Africa, then there shouldn’t be such a push for Africa to decarbonise.
SA’s Low Emissions Development Strategy 2050 (LEDS) was released in February 2020 in line with the Paris Agreement, agreed to by parties to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) to lower carbon emissions to limit global warming.
LEDS includes the Integrated Resources Plan (IRP) which involves the country’s electricity supply and the move away from coal power to renewable energy sources like wind and solar power to achieve net-zero carbon emissions by this date.
Parties to the Paris Agreement, including SA, must establish a Nationally Determined Contribution (NDC) climate action plan to cut emissions and update it every five years.