South Africa’s Green Economy Transition: Implications for Reorienting the Economy Towards a Low-Carbon Growth Trajectory

Image: Mark Kirchner

The notion of green economies seems to have gained momentum in both developed and developing countries. For South Africa, the transition to a green economy presents a mix of challenges and opportunities.

This stems from the fact that South Africa faces myriad socio-economic realities that force the country to maintain a generation of industries that contribute directly to the production of greenhouse gases in order to reduce unemployment, poverty and inequality. This paper provides an overview of South Africa’s attempts to migrate to a green economy. It specifically looks at the domestic and continental implications of South Africa’s reorientation of its economy towards a low-carbon growth path. While the country has managed to put together impressive policies meant to steer it onto a trajectory of low carbon economic growth, the realities facing South Africa point to an opposite direction.