Electricity supply options, sustainable development and climate change priorities: case studies for South Africa



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Magnum Custom Publishing


University of Cape Town

This report summarizes the results of the Projecting future energy demand: Balancing development, energy and climate priorities in large developing economies project that has been managed by the UNEP Risø Centre on behalf of UNEP DTIE. The project, sponsored by UNEP, is a partnership between the UNEP Risø Centre and centers of excellence in South Africa, China, India and Brazil. The focus of this report is on the energy sector policies that mainstream climate interests within development choices. The country study results for future energy and environment projections that are included in this report are backed by intensive economy-energy-environment modeling by the Energy Research Centre at the University of Cape Town, South Africa, wherein general scenario analysis of the energy sector explores some policies in more depth. The report argues that starting from development objectives is critical to mitigation efforts in developing countries. Instead of defining local benefits as ancillary to mitigation, reductions of GHG emissions should be seen as the co-benefits of policies that drive local sustainable development. A development-focused approach seems more likely to be implemented than the imposition of GHG targets by the international community—especially as South Africa has adopted development targets such as the Millennium Development Goals and promoted the Johannesburg Plan of Action.