Energy and enviroFiciency

by Silvana Claassen, CES Carbon & Energy Solutions, and Justine Bolton, Bright Green Solutions (BGS)

Factors that drive the implementation of climate change mitigation measures such as the carbon tax.

Carbon Tax in South AfricaIn 2014, South Africa was number 13 on the list of world’s largest greenhouse gas emitting economies in terms of its absolute emissions. South Africa emitted 476 MtCO2e of greenhouse gases in this year. China featured on top of this global list and the United States was ranking second [1]. South Africa’s high ranking can be attributed predominantly to a history of cheap coal-fired electricity, resulting in South Africa’s economy to rely heavily on an energy- and therefore carbon-intensive industry.

In 2009, at COP15 in Copenhagen, South Africa pledged to reduce its emissions below ‘business as usual’ by 34% in 2020 and 42% in 2025. This is aligned to the targets presented in South Africa’s Intended Nationally Developed Contribution (INDC) which was submitted to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) in September 2015. South Africa’s INDC stipulates to achieve emissions levels of between 417 – 633 MtCO2e over the period 2025-2030, without taking into account the CO2 captured by the Land Use, Land Use Change and Forestry (LULUCF) sector. This translates to a 20 – 82% increase in the 1990 emissions level. Although this target represents a substantial range, based on the current policy projections, South Africa would not be able to make it.

Take note

  • In 2014, South Africa was number 13 on the list of the world’s largest greenhouse gas emitting economies in terms of its absolute emissions.
  • Increased global pressure to reduce greenhouse gas emissions calls for a transformation to an economy that is less driven by carbon.
  • Effective policy must be in place to mitigate and adapt to the negative effects of a rising average global temperature.

Read the full article on Carbon Tax in South Africa in PDF format.

 
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