The UK government-funded Climate Finance Accelerator (CFA) programme’s South African operation is calling for investment proposals from local low-carbon projects that would fight climate change but need funding. Funded by the UK government's Department of Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, the CFA in South Africa is implemented by the National Business Initiative (NBI) and GreenCape.
The call for proposals was launched on June 30 and will close on August 12. Projects to be proposed should be at least in prefeasibility stage and need funding of at least $4-million (not £4-million). This call represents the second phase of the CFA in South Africa.
“The CFA demonstrates the UK’s firm commitment to supporting the effort to fight climate change in South Africa,” highlighted UK High Commissioner (Ambassador) Antony Phillipson. “CFA South Africa is committed to building partnerships between local developers of climate-smart projects, the financial community and policymakers to help low-carbon projects in need of investment access it.”
Phase 1 of the CFA in South Africa took place last year. Under it, 13 projects each received four months of training in financial and technical matters. Further, the CFA facilitated direct interactions between these projects and investors, both local and international. Many of these interactions led to investment decisions.
“It is critically important that South Africa unlock opportunities for investment towards implementing a just transition to net zero [carbon] emissions by 2050,” affirmed NBI CEO Joanne Yawitch. “To get investments and particularly investments in renewable energy, storage and peaking capacity, at a large scale will require active support to climate project developers, including [small, medium-sized and microenterprises], long-term engagement and enabling policy, capacity building, and credible partnerships between project developers, finance and government. Embedding the CFA process in supporting the implementation of South Africa’s climate commitments and just transition is a big part of the solution.”
The current, second, phase of the CFA in South Africa is expected to result in the selection of about ten projects. These will probably be in the circular economy, clean transport, energy, forestry, smart agriculture, waste, and water sectors. The selected projects will receive advice and support from technical and financial experts, as well as from gender equality and social inclusion specialists. This advice and support is intended to advance the projects closer to investment.
“Accelerating these innovative private sector companies to scale and to grow will enhance their impact,” highlighted GreenCape CEO Mike Mulcahy. “These types of innovative global partnerships increase the rate of learning for companies and financiers – building bridges to a green economic future.”