Upfront investment costs will and should remain a critical consideration as South Africa moves to upscale and accelerate its infrastructure programmes. But one of the lead authors of the latest Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) argues that the country’s infrastructure investment patterns will also need to become increasingly sensitive to the long-term economic costs posed by climate change.
University of Cape Town Energy Research Centre director Professor Harald Winkler, argues that a “least cost” decision-making framework will increasingly have to be balanced by both poverty-reduction and climate considerations.
The Working Group III report highlights that global greenhouse-gas emissions have risen to unprecedented levels and notes that emissions grew more quickly between 2000 and 2010 than in each of the three previous decades.
“We can’t just say we will take the least-cost option. Cost is still a consideration, of course, but addressing poverty is critical and investments must also address climate change,” he stated.
By: Terence Creamer