Overline: BETD Side Event
Headline: Harnessing the Co‐Benefits of Climate Action – Enabling a Just Transition

COBENEFITS Policy Dialogue – Country Focus: South Africa

BETD Side Event hosted by BMU and IASS Potsdam

The global transition to renewable sources of energy is in full swing. The social and economic opportunities presented by this transformation are spurring the growth of renewable energy generation in many countries. Among many other countries South Africa is in the midst of an energy transition, with important social and economic implications, depending on the pathways that are chosen. Against this background South Africa has launched a widely acknowledged country‐wide Just Transition Dialogue series.

Launching the 2019 COBENEFITS Report Series for South Africa
The whole debate boils down to a single question: How can renewables improve the lives of the people in South Africa? Four new studies, published by IASS Potsdam and CSIR Energy Centre, contribute the much‐needed data and figures to this question. They provide important guidance on further shaping South Africa’s energy pathways to maximise the social and economic co‐benefits of the new energy world of renewables while facilitating a just transition.

Contributors to the Session

Welcome and Introduction Norbert Gorißen, Deputy  Director  General,  German  Federal  Ministry  for  the  Environment,  Nature  Conservation  and  Nuclear Safety (BMU)

Social and Economic Co‐Benefits of Renewable Energy for South Africa: Launch of the COBENEFITS South Africa Report Series, Sebastian Helgenberger, IASS Potsdam

Enablinga Just Energy Transitionin South Africa, Tasneem Essop, Commissioner National Planning Commission, South Africa

Role of Renewable Energy Industry to maximise social and economic opportunities of the energy transition, Brenda Martin, CEO South African Wind Energy Association (SAWEA)


  • Department of Energy (DoE), South Africa (tbc)
  • Tobias Zeller, South African‐German Energy Partnership
  • Ruan Fourie, CSIR Energy Centre, South Africa

Conclusion: Towards a global climate opportunity partnership: Harnessing the Co‐Benefits of Climate Action&Enabling a Just Transition BMU and IASS

Key Questions to be addressed in the session:

(1) What are the enablers of just energy transitions, maximising social and economic opportunities of renewable energy?
(2) How can co‐benefits assessments contribute to just energy transitions while raising climate policy ambitions?
(3) How can Germany’s climate partnerships support international mutual learning and domestic dialogues on enabling a sustainability‐oriented and just energy transition?

Date and Venue: 10.April 2019, 09:00 – 10:30, BETD Rathenau Hall

The program of the event can be found here

Presentation: Social and Economic Co-Benefits of Renewable Energy for South Africa