Professor Harald Winkler

recipient of the Special Annual Theme Award: Sustainable Energy for All

6 May 2019


Special Annual Theme Award: Sustainable Energy for All (in recognition of the United Nations ‘International Decade of Sustainable Energy for All’) Prof Harald Winkler, director at the Energy Research Centre, University of Cape Town, is an internationally-acclaimed researcher. He focuses on sustainable energy for all in the context of a just transition to low carbon economies. This includes developing a multi-stakeholder process for informed decision making around climate policy.


multi-stakeholder process for informed decision making around climate policyThese days the news is filled with reports and questions around energy. How is the kind of energy we use affecting the climate? How do we use energy sources sustainably? The questions now also include: how do we ensure that changes have a minimal impact on the economy, in particular jobs and the lives of the poor?

The latter question is central to South Africa’s 2011 National Development Plan (NDP) chapter on transitioning to a low carbon economy. Professor Harald Winkler led the research that had a significant impact on changing South African thinking around climate change action — so it can deliver socio-economic benefits, such as reducing poverty and inequality.