This is a GOOD NEWS Wednesday for Africa and the entire world at the COP26 Conference!
Two amazing reports available on the news channels today, have emerged from the COP26 Conference in Glasgow, Scotland.
Behold THE GREAT GREEN WALL.
This initiative to cultivate and grow a Green Wall measuring 8000 Km in length and 15 Km in width along the Southern perimeter of the Sahara Desert was launched by the African Union way back in 2007. This ambitious mega-project will create the largest living structure on earth. It is a major move to counteract the effects of climate change.
By 2030, the Great Green Wall aims to restore 100 million hectares of degraded land, sequester 250 million tonnes of carbon and create 10 million jobs in rural areas of Sahel.
The GOOD NEWS is that this mega project has received a major boost at the COP26 Conference in Glasgow, Scotland. Announcements of support come from Jeff Bezos, Prince Charles, French President Emmanuel Macron, and Mauritania’s president, Mohamed Ould Ghazouani.
The second announcement
COP26 Conference – South Africa secures a ‘watershed’ finance deal to reduce coal reliance!
In an announcement that is of equal importance to the world, it was revealed that South Africa has secured a multibillion-dollar deal with developed nations to curb the high carbon emissions and reduce reliance on coal.
The European Union, Germany, France, the UK, and the US have partnered to support South Africa’s climate action goals. They will be helping finance the move from its heavy reliance on coal to cleaner and renewable energy sources.
Support for communities
In addition to supporting the shift from coal, the just transition funding will be used to ensure coal communities and workers. They are supported as the country is weaned off the dirty energy source. It aims to help prevent up to 1.5 gigatonnes of emissions over the next 20 years.
The funds will also be used to finance the repurposing of coal-fired power stations. Power stations such as Komati Power Station, which is expected to be repurposed for solar and battery storage, among other uses. This decommissioning is set to take place over the next 15 years.
South Africa is currently the 12th-biggest emitter in the world due to our reliance on coal-fired power stations to provide for our energy needs. South Africa is also responsible for 89% of Africa’s coal generation.
COP26 Press Conference
At the COP26 press conference launching the partnership, US President Joe Biden said, “By closing South African coal plants ahead of schedule and investing in clean power alternatives for the people of South Africa and supporting an equitable and inclusive transition in South Africa’s coal sector, we are following through on the pledge the G7 partners made in Cornwall to accelerate the transition away from coal in developing countries.”
Dave Jones, an analyst from independent climate and energy think tank Ember, said, “Not only will this move South Africa beyond coal; it will also move the whole African continent beyond coal.
South Africa, in a bid to lower its emission and meet its Paris Agreement goals, had previously pledged to peak its emissions by 2025. South Africa has recently adjusted its targets in line with the 1.5°C Paris Agreement while bringing forward its net-zero date to 2030 from 2050.
Commitment from Germany
In addition to this, Reuters reported today that Germany will give €700 million (ZAR12.5 billion) towards helping South Africa phase out the use of coal, according to the German delegation at the COP26 climate talks in Glasgow.
This IS a Good News Wednesday INDEED!