CAPE TOWN, Feb. 8 (Xinhua) -- South Africa's Minister of Forestry, Fisheries and Environmental Affairs Barbara Creecy said on Wednesday that the country is seeking to balance addressing the energy crisis and the just transition.
"If we fail to tackle the energy crisis, we will not meet our development targets, we will undermine our GDP, and exacerbate our already high levels of poverty, inequality and unemployment," Creecy said at a panel discussion of the ongoing 2023 Investing in African Mining Indaba in Cape Town, a South African port city and tourism hub.
"If we fail to mitigate greenhouse gas emissions and build domestic resilience to extreme weather events, we risk damage to human health and wellbeing, built infrastructure, food and water security," Creecy said.
South African goods and services have a high carbon footprint, according to the minister, who noted that the country's related departments have talked about attaining net zero emissions by mid-century.
"We all understand that the climate crisis is primarily a result of 200 years of industrialization in developed countries. Developing countries that have contributed the least to the global accumulation of greenhouse gas emissions are in many instances least able to develop resilience to the climate crisis," she said.
The 2023 Investing in African Mining Indaba started on Monday and will end on Thursday, with attendees from governments, the business community, and civil society of various African countries. ■