Promoting sustainable economic growth in South Africa through the export of low-carbon environmental goods
Van Niekerk, Antoinette
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Many countries, particularly those in the developing world, are under increasing pressure to improve their growth rates in order to tackle pressing economic problems at the domestic level. Increasing export volumes can make a positive contribution to a country's economic growth rate, but it can also endanger the environment. How to reconcile the often conflicting phenomena of increased export activity, stronger economic growth and a lower carbon footprint is the focus of this study. A core outcome of the study was the creation of a single list using a cross-section of international sources, of low-carbon environmental goods, and their ranking according to their inherent ability to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, South Africa's capacity to produce them, and their economic benefits, as reflected in the export opportunities they present. These export opportunities were revealed through the application of the Decision Support Model (DSM), an export market selection tool that incorporates a systematic filtering and screening system. The results of the analysis should help guide policymakers in their strategic deliberations on which export sectors to incentivise and support with a view to encouraging more 'green' growth in South Africa in the years ahead.