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Dr. Kim Coetzee

Dr. Kim Coetzee

Freie Universität Berlin

International Summer and Winter University



Dr. Kim Coetzee studied politics, society and culture, and international relations in the UK and South Africa.

While working as a researcher at the University of Cape Town's Energy Research Centre, she completed a doctorate in Energy and Development (2016) focusing on India's role in the UNFCCC negotiations. Subsequently, she held post-doctoral roles focussing on urban energy transitions and another working on attitudes to sustainable consumption behaviours in the middle classes in South Africa.

Dr. Coetzee has taught and tutored courses focussing on different aspects of the international politics of the responses to climate change and energy transitions. She has worked at the intersection of climate change, politics and inter-governmental politics in academia, think tanks, civil society, and as a consultant in the private sector in Europe and South Africa.

Current FUBiS courses:

  • February 2020 to present

Project Lead on the Climate Transparency Report at Climate Analytics, Berlin, Germany

As lead of the G20 member profile project, I manage the entire project from conceptualising policy assessment criteria updates to the suite of indicators, all the way through to overseeing the production of 20 information-rich profiles providing a concise, comparative overview of each G20 member’s efforts in relation to climate change mitigation, adaptation and finance.

When I'm not leading the Climate Transparency Report work, I am the Southern Africa regional expert on the 1.5°C Pathways project and I work on the Horizon 2020-funded 'TRACTION 4i' project.

  • Sept 2018 –  Jan 2020

Post-Doctoral Research Associate on the "SCArFE" Project (Sustainable Consumption, the Middle Classes and Agri-Food Ethics in the Global South) based at the Department of Environmental and Geographical Sciences, Science Faculty, University of Cape Town, South Africa.

Conducted a range of semi-structured interviews with government officials, NPOs, academics, retailers and wholesalers, as well as interviewing, shopping and co-cooking with our participants.

  • January 2018 – August 2018

Head of Education and Sustainable Development at Global Vision International (Cape Town, South Africa)

My role had three aspects: measuring our impact in relation to the UN SDGs, developing a research agenda and overseeing and coordinating the sharing of best practices between our field hubs worldwide as well as facilitating training and development for participants and partners.

  • Aug 2017 – Oct 2017

Senior Consultant at The Greenhouse (Cape Town)

Department of Science and Technology project surveying Nanotechnology research spanning 2006 – 2017, pursuant to the SA Nanotech Strategy. Desktop review of landscape followed by focused in-depth, semi-structured interviews with a range of Nanotech researchers at South African Higher Education institutions and Nanotech Innovation Centres.

  • Jul 2017 – Dec 2017

Co-Founder and first Manager of The Drawing Rooms Bed & Breakfast (Cape Town)

I took a short break from Academia to help a friend launch a BnB in Cape Town, South Africa.

  • Jul 2016 – Jun 2017

ESRC-NRF-Newton Post-Doctoral Fellow on the Urban Energy Transformations Project, Engineering Faculty, University of Cape Town

  • Feb 2016 – May 2016

Consultant at The Greenhouse (Cape Town)

SA Low Emission Development (USAID funded) project – write a report on project development cycles of low emission development technologies, in order to isolate the barriers to the technologies and identify potential points of leverage. Analysis based on in-depth, semi-structured interviews with project developers, municipal officials, investors and industry associations.

  • Jan 2011 – Dec 2015

MAPS Programme Researcher, Energy Research Centre, University of Cape Town

Research and write briefing papers, analysis and journal articles focusing on India, UNFCCC negotiations, mitigation action implementation and equity. In addition, I worked with researchers in Brazil (COPPE, UFRJ); Peru, Colombia and Chile. I also co-edited a special issue of the Climate & Development Journal (also published as a book) and co-organised the Development and Mitigation Forum held in January 2014.

  • Jan 2011 – June 2016

DPhil Energy and Development Studies, Energy Research Centre, University of Cape Town

Dissertation title: “The Elephant in the room: the rise and role of India at the UNFCCC

  • 2013; awarded a Prestigious Innovation Scholarship by the South African National Research Foundation
  • 2011 and 2012; awarded a Carnegie Mellon funded Scholarship by the African Climate and Development Initiative
  • May 2010 – Dec 2010

Researcher and Programme Assistant at SouthSouthNorth NPO (Cape Town)

Research, draft and write project descriptions, plans, strategy documents and reports in the set-up phase of the MAPS Programme, as well as edit books and documents prior to publication.

  • Oct 2008 – April 2010

UNITAR Intern a the Energy Research Centre, University of Cape Town

Analysis of the Revised Negotiating Text (RNT) in the run-up to UNFCCC COP15/CMP5; financial mechanisms; effect of response measures (pursuant to mitigation targets etc.) on the SA coal sector; Border Tax Adjustments, competitiveness and ‘carbon leakage’ concerns with a comparative analysis of the US Waxman-Markey Bill and the EU’s Emissions Trading Scheme (ETS).

  • 2007-2009

MSocSc International Relations, University of Cape Town, South Africa

Thesis title:A Regime Analysis of Article XX exception disputes under GATT and WTO

  • 2007 and 2008; awarded a Prestigious Equity Scholarship by the South African National Research Foundation
  • 2004-2005

Bachelor of Arts Honours with distinction, Open University, United Kingdom

University of Cape Town, various departments and faculties

  • Tutoring undergraduates in courses i) Sustainability and the Environment and ii) Urban Challenges (2019)
  • PhD elective course, Intro to Climate Change for the African Climate & Development Initiative (2016) 
  • A series of lectures on Global Environmental Governance to undergraduates taking the International Organisations course in the Political Science department (2012-2014 & 2016)
  • Recurring International Climate Policy lectures for master’s students in Energy and Climate Change (2012-2016)
  • External assessment of MPhil Climate Change and Development students (2016)
  • Lectures to undergraduate students in Geography, Environment and Development in the Environment and Geographical Sciences department (2012-2014)
  • Tutoring, Politics Department: 1st and 2nd year undergraduate students (2008-2009)
  • Ad hoc, recurring climate negotiation simulations for undergraduate engineering students taking the “Social Infrastructures” course
  • Geopolitics of climate change
  • Climate change policy and trade nexus
  • Role of developing countries in the geopolitics of climate change
  • Energy and climate policy
  • Climate negotiations
  • Changing urban form and related energy challenges
  • Implementation of climate change response measures and impacts thereof

Research Reports

  • Climate Analytics. 2022. G20 Response to the Energy Crisis: Critical for 1.5°C. Climate Transparency
  • Climate Analytics. 2021. Comparing G20 Climate Action Towards Net Zero. Climate Transparency
  • Climate Analytics. 2020. Comparing G20 Climate Action and Responses to the COVID-19 Crisis. Climate Transparency
  • Coetzee, K. & Cohen, B. 2016. Key Blockages in LED Project Development Cycles. Report for SA-LEDS Programme. Cape Town, South Africa: SA-LEDS / US-AID.
  • Boyd, A. & Coetzee, K. 2013. Mitigation actions: Understanding the variables that affect policy implementation. Cape Town: MAPS Programme [equal co-author]
  • Boyd, A, Coetzee, K & Boulle, M. 2014. What does the current NAMA-space in South Africa look like? A TERI-NFA NAMA Country Report on South Africa. South Africa: Energy Research Centre, UCT
  • Coetzee, K., Daniel, R. & Woolfrey, S. 2012. An overview of the political economy of South Africa. Paper presented at the Grenoble Ecole de Management: Grenoble, France.
  • Torres, M., Winkler, H., Tyler, E., Coetzee, K. & Boyd, A. 2012. Mitigation Action, NAMAs and Low carbon Development strategies: Building a common understanding. Cape Town: MAPS Programme
  • Tyler, E. Coetzee, K. Torres Gunfaus, M. Boyd, A. Winkler, H. 2012.Understanding the interface between LCDS, NAMAs and mitigation actions. Cape Town: MAPS Programme