South Africa Strategies

South Africa: (1) South Africa needs to strengthen its Paris Agreement pledge; (2) Stronger implementation of the Integrated Resource Electricity Plan is needed; (3) The National Treasury should provide more clarity on the start date of the carbon tax.

South Africa pledged to peak its GHG emissions by 2025, plateau for approximately a decade, and then decline in absolute terms (the PPD trajectory Climate Action Tracker regards South Africa’s INDC as inadequate. This is due to their projection for South Africa’s emissions under current policies following an increasing trend, with emissions (excl. LULUCF) in 2020 and 2025 expected to increase by 110% and 141%, respectively, from 1990 levels (excl. LULUCF).

The Integrated Resource Electricity Plan (IRP) 2010–2030 aims to more than triple the installed renewable capacity to 17.8 GW by 2030. One program emanating from the IRP is the Renewable Energy Independent Power Producer Procurement Programme (REIPPPP). This program has tremendous potential, but is hampered by stalling tactics from South Africa’s only power utility, Eskom. Despite 6.4GW of renewable energy already having been procured under the REIPPP, and all bidding rounds significantly over-subscribed – Eskom is refusing to sign further agreements. This is hardly surprising, as Eskom owns the majority of the country’s coal-fired power plants. The Department of Energy (which plays an oversight role of the state-owned entity) should ensure that Eskom honors the commitments made under the REIPPP.

A carbon tax was set to come into effect during 2017, but its implementation has been indefinitely delayed. While the full carbon tax rate is proposed to be R120/tCO2e (US$8/tCO2e), after exemptions, the effective tax rate will be between R6–48/tCO2e (US$0.4–3/tCO2e). The carbon tax aims to effect behavioral change amongst CO2 emitters, but it faces several setbacks and opposition from industry. South Africa’s National Treasury should provide more clarity as to the start date of the carbon tax.

Learn More

South Africa’s INDC: http://www4.unfccc.int/ndcregistry/PublishedDocuments/South%20Africa%20First/South%20Africa.pdf

Climate Action Tracker’s rating: http://climateactiontracker.org/countries/southafrica.html

WWF South Africa statement regarding the INDC: http://awsassets.wwf.org.za/downloads/indc_south_africa_statement_by_wwf_sa.pdf

Integrated Resource Plan: http://www.energy.gov.za/files/irp_frame.html