Sustainable Growth

A green economy industry and trade analysis: Assessing South Africa’s potential

  • Year: 2018
  • Organisation: Partnership for Action on Green Economy (PAGE)
  • Publication Author(s): TIPS
  • Countries and Regions: South Africa

A global transition to sustainable development is under way as a response to multiple environmental crises, including the widespread impacts of climate change. South Africa has embraced the shift to a green economy to attain inclusive, equitable and sustainable growth and development. The desire to transition to a green economy has been declared at the highest political level, and the articulation of the green economy agenda is evident in the South African policy framework.

From a trade and industry perspective, the transition materialises through two complementary streams: the development of new, green industries and the greening of existing, traditional industries. Within this framework, this report focuses on the development of new trade opportunities for green industries in South Africa both for import substitution and for exports. The main objectives are to identify and assess economic sectors that offer trade opportunities from the perspective of green industrial development; inform a subsequent sector-specific assessment of opportunities at the green industry and trade nexus; and provide recommendations for policymakers on how to further harness the identified opportunities in key sectors.

The report is published as part of the Partnership for Action on Green Economy (PAGE) – an initiative by the United Nations Environment Programme (UN Environment), the International Labour Organization (ILO), the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), the United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO) and the United Nations Institute for Training and Research (UNITAR) in partnership with the South African Government (the Department of Environmental Affairs, the Department of Trade and Industry, the Department of Science and Technology, and the Economic Development Department).

The report was authored by TIPS, which led the research process, collected data, drafted the report, and managed stakeholder consultations. The research team comprised: Gaylor Montmasson-Clair (Senior Economist: Sustainable Growth), Christopher Wood (Economist), Shakespear Mudombi (Economist (Sustainable Growth) and Bhavna Deonarain (Researcher: sustainable Growth).

In addition to the Main Report, a four-page Overview is also available to download.