Global Alliance Africa Focuses on Energy, Waste and Water in South Africa
Innovate UK KTN is launching Global Innovation Networks in South Africa with a focus on Energy and Waste And Water Management.
These have been identified as strategic priorities for UK-South Africa collaboration and knowledge exchange activities with some exciting programmes of work to be launched in the upcoming months. To kick-start activities KTN staff attended sector-focused events to share knowledge, gather insights, and start collaborations.
South Africa has a net zero target for 2050 and plans to become a significant producer and exporter of green hydrogen and its derivatives. This follows the 2021 Glasgow Climate Pact, forged at the COP26 climate change conference, which recognised that reaching net zero emissions by 2050 is essential and the key to keeping temperatures to 1.5°C of warming.
This is also the case for the COP27 this year as climate campaigners have pitched themselves against African governments that believe they should be allowed to use gas – which emits less climate-heating carbon dioxide than coal and oil when burned – to develop their economies and provide power to 600 million Africans who still lack access to electricity.
Keen to engage with the South African Energy ecosystem, Global Alliance Africa attended two flagship conferences in 2022: Green Energy Africa and Hydrogen Summit. The Knowledge Transfer Manager for South Africa, Alana Kruger said:
The combination of the escalating climate crisis and our economic reliance on fossil fuels puts South Africa in a delicate position. Stakeholders within the energy sector are torn between investment in green technologies, and ensuring many South Africans can keep food on the table. As Innovate UK KTN, we are looking to build collaborations to assist South Africa in achieving a Just Energy Transition, which identifies $98 billion in financial requirements over five years to begin South Africa’s 20-year energy transition.
Water and Waste Management
In October 2022, KTN also attended the Waste Conference (WasteCon), a premier showcase of best practices and sustainable waste and resource management solutions. KTN’s role at the event was to research into the potential of the waste and water industry, network with those not aware of KTN, and identify gaps where a global innovation network will assist in moving the industry forward. According to Statistics South Africa, South Africans generate roughly 122 million tonnes of waste per year. Of this waste, a maximum of only 10% is recycled or recovered for other uses, while at least 90% is landfilled or dumped illegally. Addressing these challenges is key to becoming more sustainable, and a core part of KTN’s mandate to connect for positive change. As such, Global Alliance Africa is currently working on a range of waste and water-related activities as part of the Global Alliance Africa project.
The project launched two plastic-waste related challenges with Unilever, has recently launched two new water-related challenges with Rand Water and is in the process of setting up a Waste and Water Management Global Innovation Network this year.
The waste and water industry in South Africa is highly active, with many companies changing the game in waste storage and usage. There are big opportunities for the general population to take part in these initiatives too. Through behaviour change interventions, key stakeholders can introduce reduce, reuse and recycling principles into everyday life, which can have a great positive impact on the quality of life for South Africans, Kruger concluded.
About Global Alliance Africa
The Global Alliance Africa project is a six-year project funded by UK Aid through Innovate UK (GCRF) and the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO).
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