Mar 18, 2010
Lack of clarity on climate regime ‘not good for business’Back
Copenhagen|Johannesburg|Environmental Resources Management|South Africa|Greenhouse Gas Emissions|Buyelwa Sonjica|Simon Clarke|Thabani Mlilo|Xolisa Ngwadla
© Reuse this
"The future of the Kyoto Protocol is not clear, hence the future of the clean development mechanism is unclear," Water and Environmental Affairs Minister Buyelwa Sonjica said in a speech, which was read at a conference by her climate change adviser Xolisa Ngwadla.
However, it was also stated that numerous government policies and action plans were in agreement that a shift towards a cleaner ‘green' and low carbon economy in South Africa were inevitable and would have benefits. Thus investment in this area would not be misplaced.
At a national level, the DEA encouraged business to participate in climate change policy creation and governmental processes, as this was a far-reaching issue. The department has indicated that it will release a climate change green paper for public comment by June 2010, while the White Paper on climate change was expected by December 2010.
The release of the document has been delayed, also largely because the national department was hoping for clarity on the international climate change regime from the global climate change conference in Copenhagen in December 2009, although this was not forthcoming.
Commentators from business present at the Merchantec Carbon conference in Bryanston on Thursday indicated that they had not been very thoroughly consulted on the government's climate change plans for the future.
A particular concern was just how South Africa would reduce its greenhouse gas emissions by 34% below the business as usual scenario by 2020. Whether or not this would be further broken down into sectoral targets and what individual companies would be obliged to do in this scenario were questions that business felt should be clearly articulated by government.
Ngwadla said that the green paper on climate change would likely address these issues. He also noted that this document would largely build on work done and documentation produced at the March 2009 Climate Change Summit that was held in Johannesburg.
The national climate change committee was also considering inputs from various stakeholders such as business, civil society and academic institutions.
BUSINESS ACTION ON CLIMATE CHANGE
Environmental Resources Management (ERM) senior consultant Simon Clarke noted that besides the potential regulatory risks and tightening of legislation, which was acting as a driver for business to consider outlining a climate change strategy, there were also physical risks from extreme weather events causing asset damage, as well as competitive and reputational risks for a company.
He added that South African companies had "a way to go" on climate change strategy planning, and a major challenge was the fact that climate change is perceived as a long-term issue, while companies often focused on short-term growth and targets.
"Making the links between the physical impacts and the financial bottom line," was important.
Clarke explained that the physical risks could be related back to financial terms, for example, if an exporter used port terminals and extreme storms cause port closures that meant not exporting products for a certain number of days, which would mean a loss of a certain amount of money.
"Physical risks are something that are starting to become front and centre in the debate," added PricewaterhouseCoopers governance and sustainability manager Thabani Mlilo - noting that insurance companies, for example, were starting to factor it in to operations.
Edited by: Mariaan Webb© Reuse this Comment Guidelines
Other Environment News
Article contains comments
Article contains comments
Recent Research Reports
Automotive 2014: A review of South Africa's automotive sector (PDF Report)
The report provides insight into the business environment, the key participants in the sector, local construction demand, geographic diversification, competition within the sector, corporate activity, skills, safety, environmental considerations and the challenges...
Construction 2014: A review of South Africa's construction sector (PDF Report)
Construction data released during 2013 hints at a halt to the decline in the industry during the last few years, with some commentators averring that the industry could be poised for recovery. However, others have urged caution, noting that the prospects for a...
Electricity 2014: A Review of South Africa's Electricity Sector (PDF Report)
This report provides an overview of the state of electricity generation and transmission in South Africa and examines electricity planning, investment in generation capacity, electricity tariffs, the role of independent power producers and demand-focused initiatives,...
Defence 2013: A review of South Africa's defence industry (PDF Report)
Creamer Media’s 2013 Defence Report examines South Africa’s defence industry, with particular focus on the key players in the sector, the innovations that have come out of the defence sector, local and export demand, South Africa’s controversial...
Road and Rail 2013: A review of South Africa's road and rail infrastructure (PDF Report)
Creamer Media’s Road and Rail 2013 Report examines South Africa’s road and rail transport system, with particular focus on the size and state of the country’s road and rail network, the funding and maintenance of these respective networks, and the push to move...
Liquid Fuels 2013 (PDF Report)
Creamer Media’s 2013 Liquid Fuels report examines South Africa’s liquid fuels market, focusing on the business environment, oil and gas exploration, the country’s feedstock supplies, the development of South Africa’s biofuels industry, fuel pricing,...
This Week's Magazine
A structured approach, wherein managers personally engage at each level of the project, is necessary to mitigate delays to the workflow on mega construction projects, says State-owned Eskom Kusile power station projects GM Abram Masango. The 4 800 MW Kusile power...
Construction of transmission lines to evacuate power from a regional hydroelectric project in East Africa, which was hanging on the balance following the withdrawal of financing by key partners, is now back on track. After six months of uncertainty, the African...
Three Memorandums of Understanding (MoUs) were signed between South African and Malaysian companies at the Malaysian High Commission in Pretoria on Friday. These MoUs are part of the indirect offsets programme South Africa is providing in return for Malaysia’s...
The South African new vehicle market may well dip to 640 000 units in 2014, says Toyota South Africa Motors (TSAM) sales and marketing senior VP Calvyn Hamman. This is the first prediction that anticipates a drop in the market. To date economists and industry bodies...
Nissan will re-enter the South African minibus taxi industry in March, when the new NV350 Impendulo goes on sale. The 16-seater has been specifically tailored to meet the terms of government’s Taxi Recapitalisation Programme, which aims to replace South Africa’s...