Abstract for: A system dynamics approach to understand the implications of a green economy transition in the Western Cape Province

Transitioning to a green economy presents opportunities and challenges for not only national governments, but also provincial and local governments. Within the South African context, a green economy transition is recognised as one of the key pathways towards achieving an environmentally sustainable, resource efficient, low-carbon economy, and a just society. For the Western Cape Province of South Africa, several sectors have been identified as capable of playing a key role in the government’s effort to transition towards a green economy and becoming one of the leading green economic hubs of Africa. To achieve this transition, however, requires trans-disciplinary, integrated approaches to manage and plan the identified sectors. Using system dynamics, this paper developed a Western Cape Green Economy Model (WeCaGEM) to investigate the complexity involved in response to a green economy transition in the Western Cape Province. The model specifically focusses on green economy investment efforts in water, agriculture, transport infrastructure, renewable energies, energy production, carbon mitigation, and public services. The preliminary baseline results aim to validate simulated results with historical data. Future development of the model will involve validation with experts, establishing plausible or planned scenarios with experts and analysing green economy investment scenarios.