The United States joined Britain, France, Germany and the European Union on Tuesday in a multi-billion dollar partnership to help South Africa finance a quicker transition from coal, that will provide a model for other countries.
British Prime Minister Boris Johnson told the United Nations COP26 meeting in Glasgow that the initiative was valued at $8.5 billion overall and would help move the world toward meeting its climate targets by “choking off international finance for coal”.
South Africa, which is the world’s 12th biggest emitter of climate-warming gases and heavily reliant on ageing coal-fired power stations for its electricity, said the money would help it deliver on a more ambitious pledge to reduce emissions by 2030.
Biden announced U.S. participation in the project at a joint event at COP26 with European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen, who first discussed it last week.
He said the United States would provide financing to bolster global efforts to reach net-zero emissions “by closing South Africa’s coal plants ahead of schedule and investing in clean alternatives … for the people of South Africa.”
President Cyril Ramaphosa said that the agreement marked a “watershed moment” for South Africa and the world, while von der Leyen that the “just energy transition partnership” could provide a blueprint for work with other countries.
“It is proof that we can take ambitious climate action while increasing our energy security, creating jobs and harnessing new opportunities for investment, with support from developed countries,” Ramaphosa said in a statement.
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