Exxaro Chair in Climate and Sustainability Transitions

Harnessing innovation, research and engaged scholarship towards just transitions

The fields of climate change and governance, Covid-19 and sustainable development are focal points of the work of the Exxaro Chair in Climate and Sustainability Transitions. The sustainable development goals (SDGs) are a major emphasis of the chair’s sustainable development work.

The chair is hosted by the Institute for Corporate Citizenship in the College of Economic and Management Sciences and its incumbent is Professor Godwell Nhamo, a C-rated researcher. To date, he has published 17 books (four co-authored and 13 edited), over 100 journal articles and several book chapters. Since 2013, he has graduated 11 PhD students and hosted 11 postdoctoral fellows.

The chair is now in its third five-year funding cycle and continues to provide value, nationally and internationally, in its fields of focus. For the current funding cycle, the chair’s funders, the Exxaro Chairman’s Fund, has provided funding of R12,48 million over the five years to December 2022.

Rebranding of the chair

Until recently, the chair was known as the Exxaro Chair in Business and Climate Change and has been rebranded as the Exxaro Chair in Climate and Sustainability Transitions. The rebranding was initiated in 2020 and continued across 2021.

The rebranded chair uses a trans, inter and multi-disciplinary approach that embeds systems thinking and investigates medium and long-term practical solutions to the problems it researches. It is looking into establishing an innovation and development platform which promotes technologies and methodologies that communities and governments can use to mitigate against and adapt to the changing climate and/or environment.

The vision of the chair is to create a hub of excellence in just climate and sustainability transitions (C&ST) through innovation, research and development, as well as promoting advocacy-oriented community engagement (engaged scholarship).

The chair also has a mission to:

  • increase the number of professionals in C&ST in South Africa and globally, through enrolling master’s and doctoral students and postdoctoral fellows;
  • increase the C&ST body of knowledge through collaboration with relevant stakeholders from government, business, communities, other universities and labour, leading to high-impact and high-quality academic publications and engagements;
  • advocate and raise awareness of C&ST concepts and paradigms, as well as provide thought leadership as appropriate.

The chair focuses on C&ST in terms of understanding, interpretation and potential to influence and impact policy at national, regional and international levels.

Such engagement includes a focus on citizen science to transition to a low-carbon economy (i.e. issues surrounding green/sustainable procurement), renewable energy and climate change, climate governance, climate resilience and adaptation, climate mitigation, sustainable development, SDGs, disaster risk reduction and management, the concept of sustainability transition and/or transformation and other emerging issues.


Last modified: 2023/08/07