Dialogue meeting on accessing climate finances at the municipal level in South Africa


Members of municipal governments gathered with civil society leaders and academics on 8th June 2018 in Cape Town to discuss access to finance in order to pursue low-emission development and climate change mitigation and adaptation plans. Sustainable Energy Africa (SEA) and OneWorld hosted the meeting as part of a series of dialogue events of the V-LED project. Participants included members from the Western Cape, Cape Town, Johannesburg, Kwadukuza and Thulamela governments.

As part of the V-LED project, OneWorld, SEA and adelphi are writing a South African country study on multi-level climate governance and finance. At this meeting, OneWorld and SEA presented participants, many of whom had been previously interviewed by V-LED researchers, with an initial summary of findings. As noted in the briefing paper, “As a developing country, South Africa is in the relatively unusual position of having to curb its global carbon emissions at the same time as adapting to the impacts of climate change. The country is a high carbon emitter, ranked as the 14th highest emitter in the world. The government seeks to limit national emissions over the period 2025–2030, under a Peak Plateau and Decline trajectory.” However, despite the consensus that climate change is a development issue, it is rarely treated (or financed) as such in response to South Africa´s ‘triple challenges’ of poverty, inequality, and unemployment.

The V-LED project and research responded to South Africa’s unique challenges through a series of horizontal and vertical dialogic exchanges between different government levels and city-to-city peers. The results of said research include an analysis of obstacles that hinder transformative local climate action as well as pioneering success stories and the identification of entry points for future action. After being presented with initial findings, participants discussed points of interests and offered feedback that is currently being incorporated to South Africa´s country study.

The final country study for South Africa is scheduled for publication in the last quarter of 2018.