China Provides Financing for South African Large Coal Mining Plant

Spotlight Activity: China Provides Financing for South African Large Coal Mining Plant

South Africa recently hosted the 10th BRICS Summit on the 25th to 27 July in Johannesburg, which was co-aligned with Nelson Mandela’s 100th birthday anniversary. Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa are the countries that take part in this summit, with its purpose to create relations amongst these countries with emerging economies to enhance their economic development, financial assistance, infrastructural development, cooperation and trade. These countries are amongst the biggest carbon emitters in the world; therefore, environmentalists were hoping that this summit would bring about positive outcomes on the just transition to renewable forms of energy and strengthen their pledges to the Paris Agreement of 2015.

In the final Declaration of the summit there are 4 clauses that speak directly to the mitigation and adaptation of Climate Change:

In Clause number 21 of the declaration, BRICs welcomes the progress made towards finalizing the Work Programme under the Paris agreement and have expressed their continued willingness to cooperate with other parties, heading towards the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) Conference of the parties 24, in Poland. They also call all countries to fully implement the Paris Agreement, most importantly developed countries to provide financial, technological and capacity building to developing countries, so they can enhance their capabilities of adapting and mitigating climate change effects.

Clause 22 states that BRICs wants to strengthen their co-operation in energy, mostly in transitioning to more environmentally sustainable energy systems. They will continue to strive towards universal energy access, security and affordability, whilst reducing pollution. They also reaffirmed that they will diversify their energy supply sources to include renewable and low carbon energy sources.

In Clause 23 they acknowledge the importance of energy efficiency whilst taking into consideration the energy security, economic growth, job creation and emissions reduction.

Clause 24 suggests that BRICs Ministers of Energy have established an Energy Research Cooperation Platform, of which they are still to develop its terms of reference.

Status: Standing Still

Just two days before the summit, China pledged to give the South African Public electricity entity (ESKOM) a loan of $2.4 billion (R 33 Billion). This is after giving them $1.5 billion (R196 billion) last year July, to finance part of the Medupi coal fired powerplant that ESKOM would be running. This entity for more than 10 years now, has been plagued with corruption, maladministration, bankruptcy, bail outs and most importantly its heavy reliance on the fossil fuel industry, for energy production. This shows a lack of interest from China and South Africa, to transition to renewable energy, and signs of South Africa being used by the BRICs formation to further extract South Africa’s Mineral resources and fossil fuels.

Take Action

Please send the following message to the policymaker below:

The message should be submitted to the South African Minister of Finance who is expected to deliver a midterm budget review in October 2018. This is to plead with the minister to use some of the foreign investments given to ESKOM to support the Independent Power Producers Programme in South Africa.

Dear Mr. Nene,
South Africa still remains one of the biggest carbon emission polluters in the world, and therefore has a significant responsibility to ensure South Africa prioritises the tranisition to renewable and clean energy sources. We therefore plead with the minister to start using foreign energy investments on further developing the South African Independent Power Producers Programme.

Yours Sincerely,
(your name)

Contact Information:
South African Minister of Finance Nene
40 Church Square
Old Reserve Bank Building
2nd Floor, Pretoria 0002
South Africa
Tel :(012) 323 8911
Fax: (012) 323 3262

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