Director-General in the Minerals and Energy Department, Advocate Thabo Mokoena, says South Africa is finalising its renewable energy master plan. Mokoena delivered the keynote address at the Enlit Africa conference on Tuesday. He attended the conference on behalf of Minister Gwede Mantashe who was unable to attend.

The conference is taking place virtually in Cape Town this week.

Mokoena says government appreciates the risks of climate change and acknowledges that a low carbon-intensive economy is needed.

Delegates from all over the world are meeting virtually to discuss energy issues. The International Energy Agency (IEA) says the world is in a race against time to find cleaner forms of energy.

Mokoena says South Africa’s renewable energy plan is in its final stages.

“We are finalising the SA renewable energy master plan that amongst others, seeks to coordinate the renewable energy requirements for SA to become a globally significant renewable producer and importantly for the industrialisation and also employment.”

The International Energy Agency has stressed the impact of climate change on the international community but singled out Africa, saying the continent’s future and climate matter greatly.

IEA Deputy Executive Director, Mary Warlick, told delegates the fight against climate change has never been more important.

“There is still a huge gap between rhetoric and reality. This year, instead of a sustainable recovery, we are heading for the second-largest increase in global CO2 emissions in history. Clean energy is growing, but fossil fuels are too. And to reach net-zero by 2050, it’s not just enough to keep adding more solar, wind, and electric cars, we have to rapidly reduce our fossil fuels in a way that allows our economies to keep growing and developing.”