News in cooperation with eceee.org
South Africa aims to reach net zero emissions in 2050 – while still burning coal
(Climate Home News, 17 Sep 2020) The South African cabinet has approved a goal to reduce greenhouse gas emissions to net zero by 2050, but it still plans to burn coal on this date.
The government called the Low Emission Development Strategy (LEDS) “the beginning of our journey towards ultimately reaching a net zero economy by 2050”.
The strategy is a response to the Paris Agreement’s call for countries to set out long-term climate strategies. It draws together existing policies, planning and research across economic sectors. Among these is the Integrated Resource Plan (IRP), which is how South Africa plans its electricity supply.
The 2019 version of the IRP outlines a transition from polluting coal generation to renewable sources like solar and wind. But 5,000 MW of coal power capacity is forecast to still be operating in 2050.
New coal power stations are under construction in Kusile and Medupi, with another 1,000 MW expected to come online by 2030.
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