AMES, Iowa — Thanyani Madzivhandila, an expert in climate change, rural development and environmental and disaster management, will speak about “Energy Transition in Developing Countries: A Price to Pay for Coal-Mining Communities” in an October lecture at Iowa State University.

Madzivhandila’s presentation, part of the ISU Department of Community and Regional Planning’s lecture series, will be at 5:30 p.m. Tuesday, Oct. 17, in room 130 College of Design.

The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) estimates that by 2030, to limit global warming and its impact, anthropogenic sources of greenhouse gas emissions must significantly decrease. Paris Agreement participants have committed to keeping the global temperature rise below 2 degrees Celsius in part through the reduction of fossil fuel extraction and use and a shift to a low-carbon economy.

“This process, of course, requires commitment towards specific actions and intervention in the fields of politics and legislation, environment, economy and society at large,” notes Madzivhandila, and while this energy transition is positive in many respects, a rapid low-carbon transition may adversely affect certain economic sectors, communities and regions.

In his free talk, Madzivhandila will share case studies from a variety of countries to demonstrate the extent to which energy transition can impact communities’ livelihoods, particularly those whose primary current employment sources are linked to coal mining.

About the speaker

Madzivhandila is a professor of development planning and management at the Turfloop Graduate School of Leadership at the University of Limpopo, South Africa, and a member of the Academy of Science of South Africa (ASSAf) Forum on Just Transition.

He has served as the chair of the Thuthuka Research Program on Human and Social Sciences PhD, Post-PhD and National Research Foundation Rated Peer Review Panel and as the research director in the Human Sciences Research Council’s Developmental, Capable and Ethical State. He is currently participating in the South Africa Department of Higher Education and Training Future Professors Programme Phase 2 Cohort 1.

An established development studies scholar, Madzivhandila has published more than 40 peer-reviewed articles and book chapters, and he has presented research papers at international conferences throughout the U.S. and Europe. He serves as a reviewer for the Journal of Local Economy, International Journal of Economics and Finance Studies and African Journal of Science, Technology, Innovation and Development and is a guest editor of the Journal of Public Administration. He holds a doctor of administration in development qualification from the University of Limpopo.


Monica Haddad, Community and Regional Planning, 515-294-8979,
Heather Sauer, College of Design Strategic Communications,