According to President Jacob Zuma, during a State visit by the South African President to Norway in September, Norway has offered to help South Africa transform its highly coal-dependendent economy by moving towards more renewable energy sources. And SARi featured as a key enabler in this process.
According to Peter Fabricius in an article in the Sunday Independent of 4 September, “Meeting in SA this week to clear major obstacles to successful COP 17”, Norway’s Minister of Environment and International Development, Erik Solheim is reported as pledging his support of the South African Renewables Initiative. Fabricius notes that Solheim told journalists after meeting International Relations and Co-operation Minister, Maite Nkoana-Mashabane and Energy Minister Dipuo Peters that “Norway would support the South African Renewables Energy Initiative which aims to move South Africa away from dependence on coal towards renewable energies like solar and wind, which don’t emit carbon”.
Norway stated that they anticipated three specific outcomes from COP 17 in Durban: A route forward for the extension of the Kyoto Protocol; the implementation of the many agreements reached at Cancun, such as the establishment of a Green Climate Fund and agreements to make Durban an African CPP by finding wasy to help poorer countries, especially in Africa, to adapt to Climate change.
Reported in the Sunday Independent, 4 September 2011.
SouthAfrica.info also reports: “Norway urged to invest in Green Africa – Zuma”: 5 September 2011
South African President Jacob Zuma, speaking at a business forum in Oslo during a two-day state visit last week, said Norway could play a major role in helping Africa respond to climate change by investing in the continent’s “green” economy.
Zuma said such investments would lead to a cleaner environment and sustainable economic development on the African continent.
“Norway has the capacity and resources to make a significant contribution to the green economy, including renewable energy, parts and equipment for technology.
“South Africa would welcome such investment and would like to partner Norwegian companies,” he said.
Since international trade was a key tool for boosting economic growth and job creation, the government was encouraged by the progress in trade relations with Norway.
Zuma was accompanied by several Cabinet ministers on his state visit last week.
South Africa’s trade with Norway has increased significantly over the past five years, doubling from R963-million in 2006, to more than R3-billion in 2010.
This growth was driven by a major increase in South African exports to Norway, with South Africa becoming a net exporter to Norway in 2007.
Zuma indicated that South African companies would like to partner with Norwegian companies in the oil and gas, environment and marine technology, innovation and knowledge-based industries.
South Africa and Norway should also co-operate on climate issues ahead of the COP 17 summit in Durban later this year, he said