South African scholar and activist questions JETP as the country’s climate reparation

Jakarta – In a recent academic paper, a South African scholar and activist published a critique of the country’s pursuit of climate reparations. Dr Alex Lenferna, a Postdoctoral Researcher at Nelson Mandela University and General Secretary of the Climate Justice Coalition in South Africa, delves into the moral complexities surrounding South Africa’s claims for climate finance and reparations, emphasising the profoundly unequal and polluting nature of the country’s economy.

Lenferna argues that for South Africa’s claims to be justified, two conditions must be met: first, the country must align with its fair share of global climate action, and second, climate finance should contribute to transforming South Africa’s unjust society, benefiting the majority, particularly the poor, Black, and working class.

The critique scrutinises the Just Energy Transition Partnership (JETP) and the Investment Plan announced by President Cyril Ramaphosa, questioning whether they meet the proposed conditions. Lenferna raises concerns that these initiatives may not adequately address South Africa’s moral obligations and warns against potential pitfalls in funding models that could serve the interests of international financiers, potentially undermining the clean energy future.

Highlighting the global context, Lenferna emphasises the need for scrutiny by global South countries in their engagements with JETP funding models. He suggests these funding mechanisms may inadvertently favour international financiers seeking dominance in the clean energy sector. He calls for climate justice movements to ensure climate finance fulfils the climate debt owed to the global South, promoting social, economic, and ecological justice.

It’s crucial to note that Lenferna’s perspective is not solely academic. As the elected General Secretary of the South African Climate Justice Coalition, he brings a critical activist agenda, engaging with over 50 trade unions and grassroots, community-based, and non-profit organisations. In this capacity, Lenferna actively works towards shaping a transformative climate justice agenda and critically assesses the JET Partnership and the South African government’s response to the climate crisis.

In light of these discussions, Lenferna’s critique raises pertinent questions about the ethical dimensions of climate reparations and the role of international partnerships in addressing the global climate crisis.

Indonesia recently introduced its JETP Comprehensive Investment and Policy Plan (CIPP), a strategic roadmap that outlines a decarbonisation scenario specifically for Indonesia’s electricity sector. During the G20 Summit in Bali at the end of 2022, developed countries committed to a USD 20 billion funding contribution to the JETP for Indonesia. This commitment has since increased to USD 21.6 billion. The scheme is highly criticised by civil society organisations for its dominating portion of debt compared to grants. (nsh)

Like this article? share it

More Post

Receive the latest news

Subscribe To Our Weekly Newsletter

Get notified about new articles