UNITAR Phase 2

Client: UNITAR

Period:  2009 - 2011

Project leader at ERC:  Anya Boyd

Project team at ERC: Debbie Sparks, Thapelo Letete, Alfred Moyo, Andrew Marquard


The progamme focuses on the implementation of a project on capacity development for adaptation to climate change and GHG mitigation in Non-Annex I Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC). Under the UNITAR programme, the ERC is part of the C3D+ network, along with partner organisations, and this work is jointly implemented by UNITAR and the ERC in collaboration with the Munasinghe Institute for Sustainable Development (MIND), as well as other partners and supported by a grant from the European Commission.

Main activities:

  1. Capacity building activities include an internship programme hosted at the ERC, delivery of climate-related short courses, and a bursary programme for trainees registered for the ERC's energy and climate change masters programme.

  2. Support for developing countries National Communications by developing a mitigation analysis toolkit for developing countries, which will consist of a simple set of accessible tools for mitigation analysis, training in the region in the use of the toolkit, and an online resource for tool users. The ERC will evaluate currently-existing tools, and if and where appropriate, will partner with other organisations/institutions in this regard.

  3. Implement jointly with MIND a three year research programme on the interrelationship between energy, poverty and climate change

  4. A 3 year research project on the impacts of climate change mitigation on the South African economy.

a)   Research the impacts of climate change on agriculture in the Western Cape through a case study of deciduous fruit farming, which would

b)   consider the likely impacts of climate change on fruit farming, and

c)   research adaptation strategies.


Individual project components:

Mitigation analysis toolkit for developing countries

Client: UNITAR C3D (sub-project of Unitar Phase 2)

Period: January 2009 to February 2011

Project leader: Thapelo Letete

Project team: ERC interns: Lehlogonolo Chiloane, Gracia Munganga, David Philips

ERC is in the process of developing a mitigation analysis toolkit over a three year period for developing countries which consists of a simple set of accessible tools for mitigation analysis, training in the region in the use of the toolkit, and an online resource for tool users. The toolkit forms an entry point basis for National Communications and develops energy policy and planning capacity which deepens the understanding of GHG reduction commitments and helps to integrate these better into national development frameworks of developing countries. The main focus of the analysis techniques focus on the energy sector, but the toolkit will contain related tools for non-energy emission mitigation options as well.  

In the initial phases, the focus was largely on evaluating existing international tools and identifying which tools are deemed to be instrumental in capacitating the developing world. From this was identified a set of tools for the developing world that are either unavailable freely, not available in readily usable forms or totally unavailable in any open-access database. These were then earmarked for development, through this project, to form part of the mitigation analysis toolkit for developing countries.

The following tools make up the toolkit which is currently under development:

  1. Post-2012 mitigation analysis tool: This excel-based tool allows for the following analyses:

    • Base year comparison

    • Annex I Burden-sharing options

    • NAI emission space

  2. Personal carbon footprint calculator

  3. Mitigation project analysis tool


Climate change and variability: Adaptation of deciduous fruit farmers in the Western cape


Client: UNITAR C3D (sub-project of Unitar Phase 2)

Period: August 2009 to May 2011

Project leader: Debbie Sparks

Project team: Mascha Moorlach, independent consultant Jocelyn Muller

The deciduous fruit farming industry of the Western Cape, South Africa is likely to be impacted by climate change. Grape cultivars will see the effects of climate change, and this could have consequences for the wine industry. An important effect of an increase in temperature and a change in rainfall regime is the likely change in wine quality. The scoping phase of this project confirmed the benefits of a more detailed follow-up study, considering the impacts of climate change on the grape farmers in the deciduous fruit farming industry.

Primary objectives:

  • To consider the potential impacts of climate change on wine farmers and the farming community Document existing coping strategies in times of climate variability in the Western Cape.
  • Examine the social issues in the wine farming community (which could undermine adaptation efforts if not adequately considered).
  • Provide capacity building and training on (adaptation to) climate change and variability to at least one previously disadvantaged wine farming community.
  • Improvement in farmers’ economic gains through energy efficiency measures.


  • Literature review of fruit farming and climate change in the Western Cape.

  • Field visits to selected previously disadvantaged wine farms (a wine farm was already identified as suitable for this follow-up study during the scoping phase).

  • Capacity building and training of farmers and farming communities through participatory research methods.

  • Energy efficiency will be examined and audited and suggestions for improvements made.