COP26 Implications for South Africa

COP26 (the 26th Conference of the Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change) took place in Glasgow, United Kingdom, in November 2021. Going into the event there were many expectations with a record number of people attending the event, even under strict Covid restrictions. There was pressure to keep the Paris Agreement alive (and keep the temperature increase below 1.5°C) and deepen progress, given the increasingly urgent need to act in reducing emissions and adapting to the already more severe weather being experienced. The major implication for South Africa at COP26 was the announcement of a pledge from the EU, USA, UK, Germany and France for R131 billion in concessional climate financing and grants to South Africa to “support South Africa’s pathway to low emissions and climate resilient development, to accelerate the just transition and the decarbonisation of the electricity system, and to develop new economic opportunities such as green hydrogen and electric vehicles amongst other interventions to support South Africa’s shift towards a low carbon future.” We explore the declarations and commitments made and the implications for the financial sector.