SUMMARY: The report looks at the risks of a development strategy that continues to rely on coal for energy security, employment, and growth. Three pathways are identified. The first, the least-cost energy pathway, assumes no climate-change mitigation policy is implemented beyond a gradual phasedown of coal power as stations reach their end of lives or become uncompetitive, a scenario in which South Africa would meet its nationally determined contribution (NDC) by 2025 and 2030 in terms of the Paris agreement on climate change. The second and third scenarios look at the impacts on the coal sector of South Africa meeting the lower range of its domestic climate change-mitigation objectives.
KEY FINDING / RECOMMENDATIONS: Moving from the NDC scenario to the scenario with emissions consistent with a low peak, plateau, and decline trajectory will require an accelerated phase out of large emitting infrastructure. The economic results show that meeting climate change targets and growing the economy is possible. Large investment in new renewable energy will have positive spin-offs, including net positive employment impacts in the electricity sector. While results are positive workers at coal-fired stations, mines, and the communities remain at risk if there is no orderly and properly resourced transition.