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Powerful forces are driving a green economic revolution worldwide, providing in the process a strong lever for broad-based economic development in many parts of the globe, and often re-orienting national development trajectories.
South Africa, having one of the most carbon-intensive economies in the world, is no exception. Its national government is strongly committed to unleashing the potential of the green economy. This is clearly spelt out in the ‘New Growth Path’2 strategy document, which classifies the green economy as one of the ten ‘jobs drivers’. The ‘Industrial Policy Action Plan’3 in turn, encompasses strategic initiatives to develop green industries and to improve energy efficiencies. More recently, the ‘National Climate Change Response Strategy’ white paper highlighted a set of near term flagship programmes that underline the progressive transition towards a greener economy4. Importantly, the window of opportunity is quite limited and the international environment is increasingly competitive. This indicates a degree of urgency if South Africa is to succeed in the localisation drive.