Advancing the just transition

Coal technology and innovation

The Minerals Council South Africa hosted a virtual seminar at which leading local experts shared knowledge and advanced action on the critical question of what role technology and innovation in the coal industry can play in mitigating carbon emissions.

Minerals Council Senior Executive: Environment, Health and Legacies Nikisi Lesufi said: “The Minerals Council and our coal mining members recognise the climate change impacts of carbon emissions. Yet coal plays a significant role in South Africa today, and will do for many years to come. We support initiatives to change South Africa’s energy mix progressively towards renewable energy. Many of our members are currently seeking to develop their own renewable energy solutions.

“But we also recognise that a just transition needs to consider the lives and livelihoods of the more than 90,000 people who are employed in this sector, and the more than 230,000 people whose lives depend on it. More than that, we need to keep South Africa running - South Africa currently derives over 69% of its energy requirements from coal.

“An integral part of the just transition is ensuring that the mining and use of coal is done as efficiently as possible, minimising any negative social and environmental impacts, and maximising positive social and economic impacts. The purpose of the seminar is to stimulate and share new ideas on these issues.”

Topics and speakers included:

The keynote address was delivered by Anglo American Coal CEO and chair of the World Coal Association, July Ndlovu. He is also the chair of the Minerals Council Coal Leadership Forum.

The other critical topics that the webinar focused on were:

  • Closing the gap between South Africa’s climate change commitments and emissions profile: some potential technology pathways by Davis Cook, CEO at RIIS, a specialist innovation consulting firm
  • Imparting knowledge on clean coal technologies by Vinesh Rajcoomar, an independent consultant
  • The future of coal beyond power generation by Dr Nandi Malumbazo, senior lecturer in Clean Coal Technology at Wits University
  • A sustainable coal future by Tumi Kgomo, CEO of EPCM Global Engineering
  • Inclusive development and building a people-centred vision of a modernised coal industry by Alex Khumalo, head of social performance at the Minerals Council

Resources