South African Climate Negotiator Joins Environmental Defense Fund

Just transition leader Mandy Rambharos will advance work on global climate cooperation and carbon markets

October 31, 2022
Jennifer Andreassen Burke, +1 (202) 288-4867,; Raul Arce-Contreras, +1 (240) 480-1545,

(Oct. 31, 2022) -- Environmental Defense Fund announced the hiring of Mandy Rambharos as its new Vice President for Global Climate Cooperation. Rambharos comes to EDF after decades at Africa’s largest electric utility, Eskom Holdings, having most recently led its wide-ranging strategy to transition the South African electricity sector from coal to renewables. 

“We need leaders who recognize climate action must move quickly, but also equitably,” said Angela Churie Kallhauge, EDF Executive Vice President for Impact. “Mandy Rambharos understands this perfectly. Bringing with her two decades’ worth of experience in climate change policy and the energy industry, Mandy is the perfect person to lead our strategy to ensure the implementation of effective global climate policy and a just transition.” 

Rambharos joins EDF after 20 years at South Africa’s Eskom Holdings, the largest electric utility on the African continent. As General Manager for Just Energy Transition, she led the development of Eskom’s strategy to transition from a coal-dominated utility to a renewables company. Eskom’s Just Energy Transition plan was recently awarded $500 million in financing from the Climate Investment Funds' Accelerating Coal Transition Program. Rambharos is a former negotiator for South Africa at the United Nations climate talks, and chaired negotiations on carbon markets. She was instrumental to the Just Energy Transition Partnership agreed at COP26 in Glasgow between South Africa and Germany, France, the United Kingdom, the United States and the European Union.  

Rambharos is an expert on the energy industry, just transition, mitigation, adaptation, carbon markets, and global climate negotiations. She has served on South Africa’s Presidential Climate Commission.  

At EDF, Rambharos will lead work to promote more ambitious and effective global climate action under the Paris Agreement by directing EDF's multilateral engagement, including at the United Nations and its agencies, as well as the G20 and G7. She will also lead EDF’s strategy to promote well-designed carbon pricing and markets that support the transformation toward a low-emissions future, while improving the well-being of marginalized communities.  

“Environmental Defense Fund isn’t an ordinary non-governmental organization. As one of the world’s leading environmental groups, EDF knows how to set trends, and hold players to account. It has tremendous credibility within the global climate policy world and the private sector, and a real vision for solutions that are global, climate-focused, and people-centered,” said Rambharos. “We need to take on climate change with urgency. But as the world moves away from fossil fuels, the global energy transition needs to be just and inclusive. I look forward to working with my new colleagues at EDF on a global strategy for a just and clean energy future.” 

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One of the world’s leading international nonprofit organizations, Environmental Defense Fund ( creates transformational solutions to the most serious environmental problems. To do so, EDF links science, economics, law, and innovative private-sector partnerships. With more than 3 million members and offices in the United States, China, Mexico, Indonesia and the European Union, EDF’s scientists, economists, attorneys and policy experts are working in 28 countries to turn our solutions into action. Connect with us on Twitter @EnvDefenseFund