Emissions being released from a steam stack. Picture: Pexels
Emissions being released from a steam stack. Picture: Pexels

SA greenhouse gas emissions increase by 10.4%, report says

By Jehran Naidoo Time of article published Aug 25, 2021

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Durban - South Africa’s greenhouse gas emissions have increased by 10.4% over 17 years, according to the country’s National Greenhouse Gas (GHG) inventory report measuring the period from 2000 to 2017.

The report, released this week by Forestry, Fisheries and the Environment Minister Barbara Creecy, revealed an increasing trend in emissions in the energy, industrial processes and product use and waste sectors.

“The decrease in the net AFOLU (agriculture, forestry and other land use) sector is due to an increasing land sink. There was an annual average increase of 2.0% between 2000 and 2009, and then emissions stabilised and declined with an average annual decline of 1.0%,” the department of forestry, fisheries and the environment (DFFE) said in a statement on Tuesday.

The report was based on South Africa’s commitment to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) and is used to monitor trends in anthropogenic greenhouse gas emissions.

It is important to develop, publish and regularly update national emission inventories of greenhouse gases, the department said.

“The inventory is also vital in supporting the implementation of South Africa’s nationally determined contribution, to be tabled ahead of the international climate talks in November,” said Creecy.

“It is also important in terms of supporting national imperatives, such as the implementation of the carbon tax, determining carbon budgets and other climate mitigation instruments so we can achieve the country’s developmental and sustainable development goals.”

Emissions from the country’s energy sector are likely to increase in the coming years after national electricity producer Eskom announced last month that the last of six 800 megawatt generation units at its Medupi power plant in Limpopo province had attained commercial operation status.

Medupi is a dry-cooled coal-powered plant and is expected to emit approximately 25 million tonnes of carbon a year, according to a report by Power Technology.

The DFFE said sulphur hexafluoride emissions had not been included in the report because of a lack of data available, but discussions with Eskom were under way to compile historical data that would be made available in the next report.

African News Agency (ANA)

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