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Britta Rennkamp

Dr Britta Rennkamp is a senior researcher in the Energy, Environment and Climate Change Group, and Senior Fellow at the African Climate and Development Initiative, at the University of Cape Town. 

Britta's research focuses on climate policy and technology in developing countries and the links between poverty, inequality, energy and mitigation of climate change. 

Previous work analysed renewable energy and nuclear programmes, carbon taxation, green industrial and innovation policies. Britta has published various papers and book chapters on the overall question on integrating policies on emissions reductions, energy supply and development in Africa and Latin America. 

Prior to joining ERC, she worked for the German International Cooperation in Brazil and the German Development Institute in Germany. Britta Rennkamp holds a PhD in Political Science, and a Diplom/MSc in Regional Sciences – Political Sciences, Economics, Latin American History, Spanish and Portuguese language and literature. She has ten years of international work experience in sustainable development research, consulting and teaching, which she acquired in Brazil, Germany and South Africa.

Selected publications


Rennkamp, B. 2019 Power, coalitions and institutional change in South African climate policy, Climate Policy, pages 1752-7457.

Rennkamp, B., and Marquard, M. 2018 South Africa's multiple faces in current climate clubs, South African Journal of International Affairs, pages 443-461. 

Rennkamp, B., Haunss, S., Wongsa, K., Ortega, A., Casamadrid, E. 2017: Competing Coalitions: The Politics of Renewable Energy and Fossil Fuels in Mexico, South Africa and Thailand, Journal Energy Research and Social Science, Volume 34, pages 214–223. 

Rennkamp, B. and Boulle, M. 2017: Novel shapes of South-South collaboration: Emerging knowledge networks on co-benefits of climate and development policies. Climate and Development.

Rennkamp, B and Boyd, A. 2015. Technological capability and transfer for achieving - South Africa’s low carbon development goals. Climate Policy, Special Issue 2015, 1: 12-29.

Boyd, A, Rennkamp, B, Dane, A and Winkler, H. 2013. Current approaches to MRV in South Africa: A scoping study, Climate Policy 14(3): 397-416.

Rennkamp, B & Naidoo, D. 2011: Shifting governance in STI: an analysis of the global governance institutions and their impact on South African policy, South African Journal of International Affairs 18(1): 59-81

Rennkamp, B. 2010. Conceptualizing sustainable development as a global problem: The role of strategic knowledge. African Journal of Science, Technology, Innovation and Development 2(1)  (Special Issue on Innovation for Sustainability): 183-196.


Burton, Jesse, Lott, Tawney and Britta Rennkamp (2018): Sustaining Carbon Lock in: Fossil Fuel Subsidies in South Africa in: Jakob Skovgaard and Harro van Asselt (eds) The Politics of Fossil Fuel Subsidies and Their Reform, Cambridge University Press.

Rennkamp, B & Bhuyan, R. 2017. The social shaping of nuclear energy technology in South Africa. In Arent, D, Arndt, C, Miller, M, Tarp, F and Zinaman, O (eds), The political economy of clean energy transitions. Oxford University Press

Rennkamp, B. 2017. Out of sync: Innovation policy and theory in unequal societies. In Kuhlmann, S and Ordoñez, G (eds), International research handbook on science, technology and innovation policy in developing countries: Rationales and relevance. Edward Elgar, Cheltenham.

Rennkamp, B and Perrot, R. 2016: Drivers and barriers to wind energy technology transitions in India, Brazil and South Africa. In Brauch, HG, Spring, UO, Grin, J and Scheffran, J (eds), Handbook on sustainability transition and sustainable peace (STSP). Hexagon Series on Human and Environmental Security and Peace 10, Springer, London. 

Rennkamp, B. 2012. ‘Development first’ in the G-20 and the BRICS? Reflections on Brazil’s foreign  politics and  civil society. In Heinrich Böll Foundation (ed), Inside a champion: An analysis of the Brazilian development model. Heinrich Böll Foundation:156-170.

Rennkamp, Britta (2010): Politikinnovation in der Innovationspolitik? Internationale Innovations- und Wissenschaftspolitik in Schwellenländern. In: Biniok, Peter (Hrsg.): Technik, Wissenschaft und Politik. Neue Forschungsperspektiven. Frankfurt a. M.: Peter Lang, p.67-82.


Rennkamp, B. 2016. Trading off climate change mitigation and poverty reduction in South Africa: Drivers and barriers to institutional change. Paper delivered at the Berlin Conference of Transformational Climate Governance, 23-24 May, 2016.

Rennkamp, B, La Grange, S and Stone, A. 2014. Towards prosperity through low emissions pathways in Sub-Sahara Africa: Insights from Ghana, Rwanda, Zambia and Mozambique, Conference Paper to Fifth Climate Change and Development Conference (CCDA-V), 28-30th October, 2015, Victoria Falls, Matabeleland North, Zimbabwe.

Rennkamp, B. 2012. Sustainable development planning in South Africa: a case of over-strategizing? Paper delivered at Conference of the Human Dimensions of Global Environmental Change 5- 6 October 2012, Berlin, Germany

Rennkamp, Britta and Stefan Kuhlmann (2010): Endogenous vs. Exogenous Models for Innovation Policy in Late Industrializing Countries, Conference Paper UNESCO South Asia and South East Asia Science and Technology Policy Forum on ‘Regional cooperation in science and technology: Opportunities and challenges in the context of Globalization’, Delhi, November 2010.

Altenburg, Tilman und Rennkamp, Britta (2009): Globalisierung von Wissenschaft und Innovationsprozessen – Herausforderung für Global Governance in Globale Trends 2010 Frieden - Entwicklung - Umwelt. Hrsg: Stiftung Entwicklung und Frieden, Fischer Verlag.


Rennkamp, B and Boulle, M. 2015. Novel shapes of South-South collaboration: Emerging knowledge networks on co-benefits of climate and development policies. MAPS Working Paper No.30.

Buijs, B, Winkler, H and Rennkamp, B. 2014. Successful energy innovation in South Africa and around the world. A study in support of DST’s Energy Research, Development and Innovation Strategy.

Boyd, A, Keen, S and Rennkamp, B. 2014. A comparative analysis of emerging institutional arrangements for domestic MRV in developing countries.

Rennkamp, B & Westin, F. 2013. Feito no Brasil? Made in South Africa? Boosting technological development through local content requirements in the wind energy industry. Energy Research Centre, University of Cape Town and Environmental Science Laboratory – LIMA, Federal University of Rio de Janeiro.

Rennkamp, B. 2013. South African approaches to MRV of mitigation actions: The case of installing solar water heaters. Measurement and Performance Tracking Project

Rennkamp, B, Caetano, T & Marquard, A : Estimating effective carbon prices: A case study for South Africa,  ERC Working Paper prepared for Environment Secretariat, Environmental Policy Committee, OECD, Paris

Boyd, A, Rennkamp, B, Winkler, H, Larmour, R, Letete, T, Rahlao, S & Trikam. A. 2012. South African approaches to measuring, reporting and verifying: A scoping report.

Rennkamp, B, Moyo, A, Wills, W. & Grottera, C. 2012. Reducing inequality and poverty while mitigating climate change: Key challenges for research and practice in middle-income countries in Africa and Latin America. MAPS Research Paper. Rio de Janeiro, Cape Town: LIMA/COPPE/UCT, MAPS.

Rennkamp, B & Wlokas, H. 2012: A brief inspiration on poverty and climate change mitigation. MAPS Policy Brief, Cape Town, South Africa.

Wlokas, H, Rennkamp, B, Torres, M, Winkler, H, Boyd, A, Tyler, E & Fedorsky, C. 2012. Low carbon development and poverty: Exploring poverty alleviating mitigation action in developing countries. MAPS Working Paper. Cape Town, University of Cape Town.

Fischer, Doris and Britta Rennkamp (2009): Addressing global challenges: New approaches and governance mechanisms for multinational science and technology cooperation, Background paper to the Workshop of the Committee for Scientific and Technological Policy (CSTP) Paris, March 2009: OECD.

Stamm, Andreas, Eva Dantas, Doris Fischer, Sunayana Ganguly, Britta Rennkamp (2009): Sustainability-oriented innovation systems: towards decoupling economic growth from environmental pressures? Discussion Paper 20/2009, Bonn: Deutsches Institut für Entwicklungspolitik / German Development Institute 


Britta was the guest editor of  the special issue on Innovation for sustainability of the African Journal of Science, Technology, Innovation and Development (volume 2, number 1)​​​​​​


Rennkamp, B. 2011. Innovation for all? Legitimizing Science, Technology and Innovation Policy in Unequal Societies. Doctoral thesis, University of Twente, Netherlands