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The energy sector is the largest contributor to greenhouse gas emissions and local air pollution, both domestically and internationally. The ERC conducts interdisciplinary research on energy, development, the local environment, and global climate change. A core focus of the research is on climate change mitigation in the energy sector. The centre has a diverse group of specialists, and this allows for both policy and economic analysis from social, economic, and environmental perspectives. Staff from the ERC are also part of the South African delegation to the UNFCCC as technical advisors.

The ERC works closely with other Global South governments via the Mitigation Action Plans & Scenarios (MAPS) program conducted jointly with South South North, an NGO partner, funded via private foundations. MAPS aims to increase political commitment and ambition for the formulation and implementation of ambitious mitigation actions as part of economic development and poverty reduction in key developing countries, currently all Latin American countries. MAPS research outputs include blogs for public consumption, briefs for policy practitioners, journal articles, working papers, discussion papers, and conference proceedings, presentations to policy makers domestically and internationally at the UNFCCC, and videos for public consumption.

Current research:
• Climate Change Mitigation and Poverty Reduction (CliMip) – Trade-Offs or Win-Win Situations. Client: German Institute of Global and Area Studies (GIGA).
• Co-Operation agreement on Climate Change Research/INDC (Intended Nationally Determined Contribution). Client: Department of Environmental Affairs (DEA).
• Preparation for the Third National Communication under the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change. Client: DEA.
• Mitigation Action Plans and Scenarios (MAPS) Project. Client: Children’s Investment Fund Foundation (CIFF).
• MAPS Africa. Client: Climate and Development Knowledge Network (CDKN).
• South African Low Carbon Modeling for UN Deep Decarbonization Pathways Project (DDPP). Client: United Nations.
• Development of Desired Emission Reduction Outcomes (DEROS) and Mix of Measures (MOMs). Client: Camco Clean Energy for DEA.
• Water-Energy Nexus in the Context of Climate Change: Investigating Trade-Offs Between Water Use Efficiency and Renewable Energy Options for South Africa. Client: Water Research Commission.

Recent journal publications include:
Coetzee, K, Winkler, H E 2014, The international policy context for mitigation actions, Climate and Development, 6(1), 4-11

Cohen, B, Winkler, H E 2014, Greenhouse gas emissions from shale gas and coal for electricity generation in South Africa, South African Journal of Science, 110(3/4), 1-5

Garibaldi, J, Winkler, H E, Lebre la Rovere, E, Cadena, A, Palma, R, Sanhueza, J, Tyler, E, Torres Gunfaus, M 2014, Comparative analysis of five case studies: commonalities and differences in approaches to mitigation actions in five developing countries, Climate and Development, 6 (Supplement 1), 59-70

Klinsky, S, Winkler, H E 2014, Equity, sustainable development and climate policy, Climate Policy, 14(1), 1-7

Rennkamp, BA, Boyd, A 2014, Technological capability and transfer for achieving South Africa‘s development goals, Climate Policy, 15(1), 12-29

Vossberg, C, Mason-Jones, K and Cohen, B. An energetic life cycle assessment of C&D waste and container glass recycling in Cape Town, South Africa, Resources, Conservation & Recycling, 88, pp. 39–49, 2014.

Winkler, H E, Rajamani, L 2014, CBDR&RC in a regime applicable to all, Climate Policy, 14(1), 102-121


Pathways towards the decarbonisation and resilience of the European economy in the timeframe 2030-2050 and beyond (a) Managing technology transition (RIA)
Pathways towards the decarbonisation and resilience of the European economy in the timeframe 2030-2050 and beyond (a) Assessment of the global mitigation efforts in the perspective of the long-term climate goal (RIA)
Coordinating and supporting research and innovation actions on the decarbonisation of the EU economy (CSA)


Research Officer Wikus Kruger
Energy Research Centre, University of Cape Town
Upper Campus, Rondebosch
7701 Cape Town
South Africa
Phone: +27216504311
Organisation: Research Organization

Responsible NCP

Kogilam Iyer
South Africa