Mar 18, 2010
Lack of clarity on climate regime ‘not good for business’Back
Copenhagen|Johannesburg|Port|Africa|Environmental Resources Management|Resources|Water|Africa|South Africa|Greenhouse Gas Emissions|Products|Environmental|Buyelwa Sonjica|Simon Clarke|Thabani Mlilo|Water|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 (150 word limit)
Other Environment News
Article contains comments
Article contains comments
Updated 2 hours 2 minutes ago The Public Investment Corporation (PIC) is to sink $1-billion into African investments and equities, according to Finance Minister Nhlanhla Nene. "The PIC will, in the new financial year, also focus on developmental investments in Africa, with a minimum commitment of...
Updated 3 hours ago The lateral movement in the South African Chamber of Commerce and Industry’s (Sacci’s) Copper Theft Barometer for August could again point to the possibility that levels of copper theft were stabilising, the chamber noted on Thursday. The Copper Theft Barometer...
Updated 5 hours ago The Supreme Court of Appeal (SCA) on Wednesday ordered the South African Reserve Bank (SARB) to repay entrepreneur Mark Shuttleworth R250-million plus interest in a case about exchange controls. In a statement on his website, Shuttleworth pledged to put the money,...
Recent Research Reports
Road and Rail 2014: A review of South Africa's road and rail infrastructure (PDF report)
Creamer Media’s Road and Rail 2014 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 road...
Real Economy Year Book 2014 (PDF Report)
This edition drills down into the performance and outlook for a variety of sectors, including automotive, construction, electricity, transport, steel, water, coal, gold, iron-ore and platinum.
Real Economy Insight: Automotive 2014 (PDF Report)
This four-page brief covers key developments in the automotive industry over the past 12 months, including an overview of South Africa’s automotive market, trade figures, production and the policies influencing the sector.
Real Economy Insight: Construction 2014 (PDF Report)
This five-page brief covers key developments in the construction industry over the past 12 months. It provides an overview of the sector and includes details of employment in the sector, infrastructure and municipal spending, as well as insight into companies’...
Real Economy Insight: Electricity 2014 (PDF Report)
This five-page brief covers key developments in the electricity industry over the past 12 months, including details of State-owned power utility Eskom’s generation activities, funding and tariffs, independent power producers and prospects for the sector.
Real Economy Insight: Road and Rail 2014 (PDF Report)
This six-page brief covers key developments in the road and rail industries over the past 12 months, including details of South Africa’s road and rail network and prospects for both sectors.
This Week's Magazine
The latest TransUnion Vehicle Pricing Index (VPI) contains a number of small, but significant indications that the tide may at last be turning for the beleaguered used car industry. For the third successive quarter, used car inflation has increased on a year-on-year...
The South African new vehicle market is likely to reach around 630 000 units in 2014, down from the 650 000 units recorded in 2013, says Toyota South Africa Motors (TSAM) president and CEO Dr Johan van Zyl. Van Zyl is also president of the National Association of...
Efforts by the Kenya government to increase energy generation by 5 000 MW over the next three years received a major boost following the award of a $2-billion contract to build a coal power plant in Lamu. Despite allegations of irregular tendering process, the...
Using crafty wordplay on a well-known Internet meme, brilliant South African-born US entrepreneur and businessperson Elon Musk announced that Tesla Motors would not initiate patent lawsuits against anyone who, in good faith, wanted to use its technology. Instead,...
August new vehicle sales declined by 1.4%, to 55 722 units, compared with the same month last year. Assisted by the car rental market, the South African new passenger car market, at 37 953 units, contracted by 1 047 units, or 2.7%, compared with August last year.