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President Cyril Ramaphosa: JET Investment Plan Meeting

7 Nov 2022

Remarks by President Cyril Ramaphosa during the JET Investment Plan Meeting, UN Climate Change Conference 2022

President Emmanuel Macron, President of the Republic of France,

Chancellor Olaf Scholz, Chancellor of the Federal Republic of Germany,
Prime Minister Rishi Sunak, Prime Minister of the United Kingdom,
President Ursula von der Leyen, President of the European Commission,
Your Excellencies,
Colleagues and Friends,

It is a great honour to participate in this conversation on South Africa’s just energy transition.

It was at COP 26 in Glasgow that we set out to establish a historic partnership with France, Germany, the United Kingdom, the United States and the European Union in support of our country’s transition to a low-carbon, climate resilient society.

This partnership is founded on a common understanding that the contributing countries have towards global warming and a responsibility to an abiding interest in supporting a just transition in developing economy countries.

It is rooted in an understanding that without substantial and sustained financial support, these countries will be unable to reduce emissions and adapt to the effects of climate change.

South Africa appreciates the commitment that the International Partners Group made at COP 26 to contribute resources to our ambitious just energy transition.

We welcome the engagements that have taken place over the last year to give effect to this commitment.

Recently, the South African Cabinet endorsed our national Just Energy Transition Investment Plan as the basis for our pathway towards a low carbon and climate resilient society.

The investment plan outlines comprehensive priority investment and financing interventions over the next five years to implement our decarbonisation commitments.

The plan captures the scale of need and the investments required to achieve these commitments while promoting sustainable development and ensuring a just transition for affected workers and communities.

The investment plan is about addressing the global risks of climate change while creating jobs and driving more rapid and inclusive economic growth.

According to the plan, South Africa will need approximately US$ 98 billion over the next five years to enable a just transition and achieve the ambitious targets we have set out in our Nationally Determined Contribution.

The plan includes a portfolio of investments across three priority sectors: the electricity sector, green hydrogen and new energy vehicles.         

More specifically, it focuses on investing in our electricity transmission and distribution networks and expanding renewable energy sources.

It also includes investment in local production of green hydrogen and electric vehicles, and investing in local economies to develop skills and enable economic diversification.

To succeed, we will need to ensure that financial support includes a significantly larger grant funding component.

Among other things, this calls for reform of the multilateral development banks and international financing institutions – and the mobilisation of commercial banks – to meet the climate financing needs of developing economies.

These resources are needed to ensure the implementation of active labour market policies, reskilling and upskilling as well as the creation of new industries on a considerable scale.

Funding support through the Just Energy Transition Partnership can make a vital contribution to achieving the ambition set out in the investment plan.

This partnership presents an opportunity to develop a new and innovative model for financial support for just transitions in developing economy countries.

Through this partnership we are in a position to demonstrate greater ambition, urgency and impact.

It is up to all of us to now make it work and deliver.

Ultimately, our investment plan stresses that workers and communities must share in the benefits of the climate transition and the creation of new industries and jobs.

This is vital if we are to fulfil our shared commitment to leave no one behind.

I thank you.

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