Climate change and energy transition as drivers of change

The unavoidable warming and potential substantial departures from prevailing global weather patterns associated with climate change are likely to be major drivers of migration, agriculture, and international trade. The transformation of the energy system necessary to reduce emissions to levels consistent with a stable climate have direct and potentially powerful implications for the nature of infrastructure investment, agriculture, and trade. Infrastructure is directly implicated in terms of power sector investment, and transportation infrastructure investment has direct implications for energy consumption patterns and efficiency of energy use.

This Work Stream will shed light upon the nexus of climate change, infrastructure, migration, agriculture, trade, and energy. Climate change and energy transitions will serve as principal drivers of the research within this framework while exploring the linkages to infrastructure migration, agriculture, and trade. Concretely, the Work Stream will seek to contribute to:

  • South African and regional climate change adaptation policies
  • Energy policies and programmes — including national energy generation build plans and associated transmission infrastructure as well as regional approaches to meeting energy needs
  • The ongoing land reform programme in South Africa
  • The understanding of the implications of migration — with an initial emphasis on regional migration — for economic outcomes