South Africa

At a Glance

South Africa is one of the largest greenhouse gas emitters on the African continent. To achieve mitigation goals, USAID is helping the government to implement its national green growth plans by supporting investment in projects that reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Clean energy programming will provide assistance to help eliminate the main obstacles to investment in low emissions development

Funding and Key Indicators

USAID Climate Change Funding (2020)


$1.5 Million


$1.5 Million

GAIN Vulnerability


Population (2020)

56.5 million (2020)

GHG Emissions Growth


% Forested Area


EC-LEDS Partner Country


Climate Change Information

South Africa Photo Gallery

Stories from the Area

Landfills and wastewater treatment plants generate methane, a potent greenhouse gas (GHG), from decomposing organic waste and wastewater treatment processes, respectively. What if there were ways to reduce GHG emissions while simultaneously creating renewable energy? And what if there were additional benefits beyond reducing emissions and creating energy?
According to USAID’s Southern Africa’s Climate Change Risk Profile, “Changes in water quality and availability will be the dominant changes seen under a new climate.” The sensitivity of livelihoods and economies to these changes, together with a lack of access to drinking water (and contamination of existing supply), threatens water security and resilience in a region where water demands are rising in response to an increasing population.
South Africa—the third most biodiverse country in the world—is home to more than 95,000 known species and a diverse range of biomes, from forests to deserts to river delta systems and more. The rich biodiversity of these natural areas plays an important role in the South African Government’s progressive green economy agenda, as it recognizes that those areas provide a wide range of ecosystem services for its people, including food, water, clean air, medicine, resources for livelihoods, recreation, and energy to power daily life and industry.