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Yellen Says South African Coal Communities Need $3.5 Billion

  • US Treasury secretary announces additional $45 million grant
  • US is part of group providing climate finance to South Africa
Janet Yellen in Pretoria, South Africa on Jan. 26.
Janet Yellen in Pretoria, South Africa on Jan. 26.Photographer: Waldo Swiegers/Bloomberg

South Africa has identified more than 60 billion rand ($3.5 billion) of investments needed to help communities in the coal-mining Mpumalanga province as the industry gradually winds down, US Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen said as she announced an additional $45 million in grant support.

The investments form part of a 1.5 trillion-rand government blueprint to reduce South Africa’s reliance on coal, which is currently used to generate more than 80% of its electricity. A group of rich countries are backing that program, known as the Just Energy Transition Plan, with $8.5 billion in climate finance in the form of concessional loans, debt guarantees and grants. The US is providing more than $1 billion.