WC Government & the Free State of Bavaria commit to closer cooperation
Joint Statement: Western Cape Government and the Free State of Bavaria commit to closer cooperation on a just energy transition and green hydrogen
The Premier of the Western Cape, Alan Winde, and the Bavarian State Minister for European and International Affairs, Ms Melanie Huml, met today to initiate discussions between the two sister regions on potential areas of collaboration, including a Just Energy Transition and Green Hydrogen.
Speaking on the importance of these discussions, Premier Winde said, “I sincerely welcome the outcomes of this discussion and I am grateful for the partnership we have long enjoyed with our Bavarian counterparts. The last two years have been difficult for our respective economies, which, in the Western Cape, has been compounded by the energy crisis our country faces resulting in loadshedding. The reality is, we need to get the balance right in going greener and finding energy alternatives to addressing shortages.”
Given the impact of climate change and the growing need to decarbonise both provincial economies, it was agreed that:
- While fully respecting the applicable legal systems and legislation, both sides intend to include the topics of climate and green hydrogen in the Bavaria Western Cape Action Plan and to bring the relevant actors on the South African and Bavarian sides closer together;
- Both aim to deepen existing contacts in the fields of energy transition and green hydrogen; and
- Both agreed to promote and advance cooperation in their areas of competence.
Premier Winde added, “It is important that we play our part in fighting climate change through alternative energy solutions, because if we do not – we will put our agriculture sector, water security and overall wellbeing at risk. As a province, we will continue to position ourselves as the Green Tech Hub of Africa, further helping us to refocus our attention on the second pandemic of joblessness.”
Speaking on Bavaria’s commitment to close collaboration with the Western Cape Government, Minister Huml said, “Coping with climate change is among the biggest challenges that humanity is facing at a global scale. Bavaria has set itself the goal of being climate-neutral by 2040, among others through increasingly using renewable energy and promoting the hydrogen economy, with green hydrogen as a central energy carrier. With its Bavarian Hydrogen Strategy, Bavaria has created the prerequisites for the large-scale utilisation of hydrogen.”
“The partnership between Bavaria and the Western Cape Province offers great potential for cooperation in the field of green hydrogen. Activating this potential through joint endeavours, especially in the area of research, production and transport, is the overriding common goal,” continued Minister Huml.
In concluding, Premier Winde remarked, “In addition to our discussions on green energy alternations, we also discussed the future direction of our bilateral relations. We are longstanding partners, with the first twinning arrangement having been signed as far back as May 1995.”
“The cooperation is wide-ranging and multi-faceted, with the current cooperation being managed under the Joint Action Plan signed in 2019. We indeed enjoy a strong and fruitful relationship with the Free State of Bavaria, and I hope to see this relationship continue to grow from strength to strength,” added Premier Winde.