Climate change, energy transition high on agenda as Godongwana meets with Yellen

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Topics ranging from climate change, the Just Energy Transition and how it’s funded topped the agenda when Finance Minister Enoch Godongwana hosted his American counterpart Janet Yellen.

Yellen is in South Africa on a three-day visit.

The US Treasury Secretary has already committed to partnering with South Africa to combat illicit financial flows on the continent.

Yellen and her South African counterpart Godongwana posed for a photo opportunity. This was before they headed into their meeting where a myriad of issues was on the table.

VIDEO: US Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen meets Finance Minister Enoch Godongwana: update 

Godongwana notes that it was the first time in eight years that a US Treasury Secretary had visited South Africa, describing this occasion as momentous.

“There has been constructive cooperation between our two countries … to bolster trade, economic and the African continent,” says Godongwana.

Godongwana also echoes the sentiments expressed by Janet Yellen previously around the formation of a Task Force to deal with illicit wildlife trafficking and gave some flavour of the ground they were set to cover in their discussions.

“I’m equally pleased by the announcement that you made yesterday…part of the G20 next month,” Godongwana adds.

Yellen emphasises the importance of relations between the two countries. “The united states strongly values our relationship with South Africa. The minister and I will discuss how multilateral development banks,” says Yellen.

VIDEO: SA and US form task force to combat poaching: Professor John Stremlau 

Renewable energy 

There’s a big emphasis on how countries deal with climate resilient change and its impacts. And being one of the key funders of South Africa’s initial Just Energy Transition investment plan, Yellen says she believed investment in the renewable energy sector, creating a low carbon and climate economy would be beneficial in alleviating the deep fiscal strain that the country had been enduring.

“The partnership will also invest in the jobs with growing industries so that the transition is just and does not leave anyone behind.”

Yellen also met with business players, including US outfit, the Ford Motor Company.

VIDEO: U.S. Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen visits a Ford Motor Company plant