South African central bank chief Lesetja Kganyago urged wealthy nations to meet commitments to share the cost of transitioning to a greener economy and not “hoard” vital climate change technology.
“A just transition requires that benefits and costs are shared more equally within countries but also amongst countries,” he said Saturday in Marrakech, Morocco, during the annual meetings of the International Monetary Fund and World Bank.
“Advanced economies need to honour their commitments, not only because it is just but also because, in many cases, it makes economic sense,” he said. “The planet will warm up for all of us.”
South Africa’s $8.5 billion Just Energy Transition Partnership, signed in 2021, aims to help the coal-dependent country transition to cleaner energy.
But it has been slowed by infighting, with opposition coming from politicians close to the coal lobby and labour unions concerned about job losses.
Coal is currently used to generate more than 80% of the country’s power, and the cost of transition is very high.
Kganyago cited a World Bank estimate of R8.5 trillion, which he said was equivalent to roughly 180% of the country’s gross domestic product, and that helping to finance climate transition would reduce global mitigation costs.
“If there is one thing that the Covid-19 crisis taught us, it is that global problems require coordinated global solutions,” he said, noting that once vaccines had been produced, they were held back by the developed world.
“In the just transition, the technology is also coming that would save the planet,” he said. “If the response is to hoard the technology in the developed world, the just transition shan’t be.”