Premier calls for a social pact for renewable energy
The Premier, Ms Sylvia Lucas has recommended that a Provincial Green Economy Accord be developed and agreed to, which would be based on the national green economy accord and the proposed energy transformation charter. She made the call during the keynote address that she delivered at the Renewable Energy Conference and Exhibition held in De Aar last week.
The accord would commit government and social partners like organised labour, business and the community to promote the green economy for job creation, socio-economic development and address issues of climate change.
Ms Lucas outlined the new challenges posed by climate change for developing countries with respect to growth and poverty reduction. She said that economic growth in future should be aligned to carbon-efficiency and environmental sustainability. “Greater global understanding on the relationship between growth, environmental change and poverty reduction would support the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals and help developing countries in achieving sustainable growth” Lucas said.
The sustainability agenda applicable to South Africa has been set by the United Nations General Assembly, with the objectives of ensuring universal access to modern energy services; doubling the global rate of improvement in energy efficiency; and doubling the share of renewable energy in the global energy mix. The African Union’s Agenda 2063 seeks to compliment the United Nation’s commitments by setting the continent on a clear path to sustainable development.
The Premier reminded the delegates about South Africa’s commitment to the Paris Agreement for the reduction of carbon dioxide emissions worldwide, which was signed by 196 countries. United States President, Donald Trump withdrew from the Paris agreement in June 2017 lamenting the agreement for its biasness against the US.
“There are tremendous opportunities for the Northern Cape within the energy sector where there is immense potential both in terms of supply and demand for solar, hydropower generation, and biomass” Lucas suggested.