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South Africa is committed to taking action to reduce its greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by 34% by 2020 and 42% by 2025, as compared to business-as-usual. The National Climate Change Response White Paper (2011) lays out and prioritizes the mitigation strategies to achieve these ambitious GHG emission reduction goals, while, at the same time, supporting adaptation interventions and national economic development goals.

Through the EC-LEDS program, the United States has partnered with South Africa to support the country’s green growth agenda. Specifically, the partnership is working to strengthen low emission development planning and reporting and facilitate private sector participation in low emission project development and implementation. 

Environmental/Economic Data

EC-LEDS Activities

Accomplishments and Progress

Monitoring Progress Toward National Climate Targets. With U.S. support, South Africa implemented a first-of-its-kind National Climate Change Response Database to monitor progress toward achieving its Nationally Determined Contribution (NDC) targets. The database tracks the implementation of emissions reduction projects in South Africa at national, sub-national, and private sector levels. The USG provided technical assistance to support database development, roll out, maintenance, data collection and analysis, as well as reporting under South Africa’s United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change commitments. - 2016

Increasing Access to LEDS Project Financing. With U.S. technical assistance and financial support in the form of a loan guarantee, the Industrial Development Corporation of South Africa set up a $200 million Low Emissions Development Debt Facility to provide project finance debt to small-scale rooftop solar and biomass/biogas projects. This facility will stimulate commercial debt into the South African small-scale renewable energy market. - 2016

Accelerating Deployment of Low Emission Projects. The EC-LEDS program has established a new Project Management Office that will identify and provide technical assistance in the development of numerous bankable low emission projects in South Africa. Efforts will focus on meeting pressing capacity and analytic needs regarding low emission project development and align with the country’s priority focus areas: transport, waste management and energy efficiency, and energy demand management. – Ongoing

Documenting Climate Change Response and Impact. The EC-LEDS program is sponsoring a number of dedicated climate specialists to support climate response and reporting for South Africa’s Department of Environmental Affairs (DEA). The specialists help DEA collect and analyze GHG emissions data from multiple sectors and stakeholders across the country with a focus on improving methodologies, data, and tools to support development of the National Climate Change Response Database, which tracks national implementation of emissions reduction projects. The specialists are also working with relevant institutions to design, develop, and implement the South Africa Climate Change Monitoring and Evaluation System. – Ongoing