SOUTH AFRICA: UNIDO and Flanders support green economy in the face of climate change

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SOUTH AFRICA: UNIDO and Flanders support green climate economy©tusharkoley/Shutterstock

The United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO) and the Flemish Region of Belgium (Flanders) have signed an agreement with the South African authorities. The partnership will allow the implementation of a project for adaptation to the green and sustainable economy, at a cost of 2.4 million euros.

The green economy will be the focus of a project led by the Flemish Region of Belgium (Flanders) and the United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO). This project, validated by the South African authorities, aims to accelerate the transition to a low-carbon economy in a country that is 80% dependent on coal for energy, according to Power Africa. The project will be implemented thanks to 2.4 million euros of funding from Flanders.

The project will also involve key players in the South African economy, including the Department of Forestry, Fisheries and Environment and the Department of Trade, Industry and Competition, as well as national industry-facing bodies such as the National Cleaner Production Centre South Africa (NCPC-SA) and the Industrial Development Corporation (IDC).

Capacity building in companies

As the implementing agency for the project, UNIDO will work with the private sector, including individual companies, as well as sectoral organizations and selected special economic zones, to address barriers to the gradual adoption of the green economy through climate adaptation measures and technologies.

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The project also aims to build capacity for adaptation, renewal, reorganization and development of more sustainable pathways and practices to help industries better prepare for future climate change impacts. With support from the National Cleaner Production Centre South Africa (NCPC-SA) and South Africa’s Technology Innovation Agency  (TIA), UNIDO will focus on “technology upgrades in pilot companies to demonstrate the benefits of a climate resilience approach in industry, fostering the potential for green innovation, and building capacity for mainstreaming climate action and financing resilient green economy investment projects,” says the Vienna, Austria-based UN organization.

UNIDO is also preparing partnerships with academia, industry and umbrella organizations to expand the project across the South African economy. The 3-year initiative is expected to lead the way in the creation of eco-friendly industrial parks, the development of low-carbon transport, industrial energy efficiency, as well as the promotion of clean technology innovations.

Jean Marie Takouleu 

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