South Africa will provide a new timeline for the shutdown of coal-fired power plants in a bid to secure about $2.5-billion in climate finance, an agency in President Cyril Ramaphosa’s office said. The timetable to be proposed to the Climate Investment Funds in June aims to ensure the country remains on track to obtain funding under the so-called Just Energy Transition Partnership — a $9.3-billion pact with some of the world’s richest nations. Under the agreement, first announced in 2021, South Africa will receive the assistance on condition it cuts its dependence on coal, which accounts for four-fifths of the nation’s electricity output. Early last year, South Africa told its partners in the pact it planned to delay the planned shutdown of coal-fired plants — 14 of which are operated by state utility Eskom — to address record electricity outages. The authorities didn’t set new closure dates. “What we are presenting to the CIF is an adjustment to the decommissioning plan linked to an emissions target that we have to achieve,” said Neil Cole, a finance manager at the Project Management Unit, which is overseeing the JETP for South Africa, within the presidency.
Growth in solar and wind power pushed renewable generation to a record 30% of global electricity production in 2023, putting a global target to triple renewable capacity by 2030 within sight, a report by think tank Ember said. Cutting fossil fuel use and emissions in the power sector is seen as vital to meeting global climate targets. More than 100 countries at the COP28 climate summit in Dubai last year agreed to triple renewable energy capacity by 2030.