Integrating socio-economic development and decarbonisation in South Africa

South Africa is one of the few countries in the world with both high unemployment and low employment elasticities, largely owing to a low-skilled labour force and an economy geared to high-skilled, high-productivity growth. On top of this, it has much higher than average greenhouse gas emissions than similar developing countries both per capita and per unit economic output, these emissions being the result of an energy- and emissions-intensive economy historically formed to exploit South African mineral and coal resources

Decarbonisation south africa
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Hilton Trollip, Tara Caetano, Alison Hughes, Bruno Merven - Energy Research Centre, University of Cape Town

DOI 10.12910/EAI2016-018


Since 2013 until 2015, South Africa participated in a collaborative effort called the Deep Decarbonisation Pathways Project (DDPP), aimed at exploring the technological and economic feasibility of a global low-carbon economy consistent with the international goal of limiting anthropogenic warming to less than 2 degrees Celsius (°C). A general finding of the project was that deep decarbonisation of these economies is technically achievable while accommodating other national priorities…