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COP26 president welcomes SA’s progress towards clean energy in $8.5 billion climate deal talks

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COP26 president Alok Sharma met with SA ministers about the $8.5 billion Just Energy Transition Partnership on Wednesday.

COP26 president Alok Sharma met with SA ministers on Wednesday. Picture: Supplied

CAPE TOWN – South Africa’s progress in transitioning to a low carbon economy and a climate resilient society has been welcomed by COP26 president Alok Sharma during his visit to the country.

Sharma met with ministers from the South African government about the $8.5 billion (R136.2 billion) Just Energy Transition Partnership (JETP) on Wednesday.

The partnership was established through a political declaration at COP26 in November last year in which the European Union, France, Germany, the UK and the US committed to mobilise $8.5 billion to support South Africa’s just energy transition.

The climate finance deal will over the next three to five years be used to support South Africa’s Nationally Determined Contribution (NDC), which are climate-related targets for greenhouse gas emission reductions.

In a statement from Sharma and the ministers involved, the discussions assisted to advance the long-term partnership.

“They continued discussions on the financing instruments to be provided, with a view to ensuring that the partnership meets the country’s investment needs and aligns with its fiscal framework. They discussed ongoing work on a South African-led Investment Plan, which will guide the use of funds. In this context, they noted that as momentum grows and enabling conditions are created, there will be considerable interest from wider sources of finance,” the statement read.

Speaking at a separate briefing, the UK’s COP26 envoy and chair of the International Partners Group, John Murton, said the partnership presents an opportunity to boost economic growth, to create jobs and to address the urgent threat of climate change.

“The visit that Alok Sharma did this week and the discussions we’ve had with the South African government, and the fact that he was received by seven South African Cabinet ministers is a symbol of the important other work and the seriousness at which the government is working on these endeavours,” he said.

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