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Partnership launched to overcome climate resiliency barriers in energy, water

A joint project to accelerate South Africa’s energy and water transitions to be more efficient and sustainable – the South African Industry Adaption (SAIA) project – was officially launched on April 5 between the government of Flanders and the United Nations Industrial Development Corporation (Unido).

Flanders is contributing R41-million (€2.4-million) to the project, following a proposal by Unido.

The objective of the SAIA project is to accelerate the transition to a decarbonised industry, a green and inclusive economy and a vibrant job market in South Africa.

The project will focus on the private sector, including individual enterprises, sectoral organisations and selected special economic zones.

It is also intended to address barriers that are currently impeding the accelerated adoption of measures and technologies on climate adaption, as well as to enable the private sector to capitalise on the opportunities to shift towards a green economy.

In practice, this will entail building capacity to adapt, renew, reorganise and develop suitable pathways and more sustainable practices to help industries better prepare for future climate change impacts.

The SAIA project will be implemented by Unido in collaboration with the National Cleaner Production Centre of South Africa (NCPC-SA) and the Technology Innovation Agency (TIA).

In this collaboration, the NCPC-SA will lead efforts to apply renewable energy and energy- and water-use efficiency interventions in pilot enterprises, showcasing the impact and benefits thereof.

Unido will lead efforts to scale up and mainstream climate-resilient services through strategic partnerships with academia, knowledge institutions and umbrella organisations.

The TIA will lead efforts to accelerate industrial innovation on climate adaptation.

In terms of the renewable energy and water sectors, the SAIA project intends to support the industries to improve their management of related services, implement demonstration projects and leverage funds for scale-up through linking with finance institutions.

To accelerate industrial innovation on climate adaption, the project is aimed at nurturing enabling conditions for a continuous innovation dynamic for climate change adaptation services, as well as fostering and developing clean technology innovations that are focussed on climate resiliency.

In addition, the SAIA project will be focused on establishing a network of industrial accelerations to drive new business models for climate change adaptation.

As for scaling up and mainstreaming climate-resilient services, the SAIA project is intended to use strategic partnerships to establish a public-private forum to promote dialogue on climate resilience and to capacitate universities, training centres and umbrella organisations to mainstream climate change adaption programmes.