Climate change is tough on emerging economies, worsening existing social and economic challenges. South Africa is joining the global fight against climate change by transitioning to a low-carbon economy. The USAID South Africa Low Emissions Development project (SA-LED) supports this transition by bridging the gap between public institutions and investors. SA-LED showcases the development impact potential of sustainable economic growth.
Although climate change goals have been well articulated at the national level in South Africa, communication and collaboration between municipal, provincial, and national actors remains a challenge. SA-LED creates a mechanism to fast-track projects and streamline procedures by providing a full range of project preparation support and capacity building.
High-priority sectors, such as waste management, transportation, and energy, are where SA-LED is focusing its efforts. The project supports developers in identifying funding options, as well as opportunities to broaden the pool of potential funders. Program staff are also developing tools and guidance on how to engage investors to raise capital. Such efforts to engage with the government are strengthening the enabling environment for investment and expanding access to and use of innovative finance mechanisms. Some SA-LED activities are also examining tradeoffs between economic growth and greenhouse gas reduction efforts.