http://www.engineeringnews.co.za
  SEARCH
Login
R/€ = 13.14Change: -0.15
R/$ = 12.05Change: -0.20
Au 1200.03 $/ozChange: -6.12
Pt 1139.50 $/ozChange: -16.00
 
 
Note: Search is limited to the most recent 250 articles. Set date range to access earlier articles.
Where? With... When?








Start
 
End
 
 
And must exclude these words...
Close Main Search
Close Main Login
My Profile News Alerts Newsletters Logout Close Main Profile
 
Agriculture   Automotive   Chemicals   Competition Policy   Construction   Defence   Economy   Electricity   Energy   Environment   ICT   Metals   Mining   Science and Technology   Services   Trade   Transport & Logistics   Water  
What's On Press Office Tenders Suppliers Directory Research Jobs Announcements Letters Contact Us
 
 
 
RSS Feed
Article   Comments   Other News   Research   Magazine  
 
 
Dec 09, 2011

All government tiers must prepare for green infrastructure future

Back
Development Bank of Southern Africa environmental finance head Chantal Naidoo discusses environmental development finance. Camerawork: Nicholas Boyd. Editing: Darlene Creamer.
 
 
 
Africa|Building|CoAL|Environment|Industrial|Projects|Renewable Energy|Renewable-Energy|Resources|Sustainable|Systems|Africa|Energy|Systems|Environmental|Infrastructure
Africa|Building|CoAL|Environment|Industrial|Projects|Renewable Energy|Renewable-Energy|Resources|Sustainable|Systems|Africa|Energy|Systems|Environmental|Infrastructure
africa-company|building|coal|environment|industrial|projects|renewable-energy|renewable-energy-company|resources|sustainable|systems-company|africa|energy|systems|environmental|infrastructure
© Reuse this



Rural Development and Land Reform Deputy Minister Lechesa Tsenoli has urged academic institutions, researchers, business intelligence organisations and governmental structures at all levels to work together to start detailed and long-term planning for green infrastructure, including renewable energy, and likely infrastructure use in 2040.

The national and provincial governments pro- vided the proper budgetary and legislative environment to enable all tiers of government to start planning around a transition to a green economy decoupled from the inflationary pressures of carbon and fossil fuels, he noted at the November Infrastructure Dialogue, jointly hosted by the Development Bank of Southern Africa and South African Cities Network.

“Around coal, for example, the long-term objectives and strategies adopted must be based on the realistic assessment and likely long-term outcome of decisions around the investment of resources. This is the significance of the research done and why it is important to inform policymakers,” he said.

“We need such decisions across the board and it will not always happen because there is agreement. However, the budgetary and legis- lative environment enables different tiers of government to take decisions in line with what is generally agreed upon,” he explained.

Tsenoli further encouraged academics and research bodies to present their findings, models and conclusions to the National Planning Commission within the six months’ timeframe for comment on the New Growth Path document.

“We would really like you to have the courage of your views and feed them into this commission, specifically providing guidance around issues discussed here today, such as the framework model and long-term relations, which would be greatly appreciated,” he noted.

He further encouraged scientists to seek specific answers to rural-urban divide questions, including linkages to, and implications of, urbanisation for rural and urban areas.

Tsenoli also raised the issue of northern hemis- phere consumptive lifestyles compared with what is possible for people in Africa and South Africa to achieve, noting that the issue of development without the same resources-heavy lifestyle was at the heart of the transition to a green economy and a decarbonised future.

He spoke as an attendee and declined a seat on the panel. He said he had listened as scientists and researchers presented their findings around the economic and sociopolitical imperatives of green infrastructure development, specifically around long-term planning and efficient use of resources, whether financial, human or environmental.


At the event, research body Trade & Industrial Policy Studies Centre senior researcher and combustion engineer Peet du Plooy defined a green economy as one which enables a country to use less energy to achieve the same growth per capita as other countries.

“A green economy needs three things: decoupling growth from environmental impact, including the use of finite resources and the pollu- tion, depletion or degradation of resources over time, which is an economywide challenge, natural resources management, including ecological infrastructure, and green industries that supply the first two parts,” he said.

Infrastructure to support the economy was needed, especially green infrastructure designed to promote green industries and the long-lived benefits of resource investments and to reduce negative impacts on the environment, he added.

“There are economic drivers for green infra- structure and they will revolve around how we use financial planning, economic innovation and policy tools to encourage the transition to green infrastructure.”

Consumption and debt had grown South Africa’s economy over the past but were not sustainable, he said.

“Worldwide, growth of an economy’s income per capita is always associated with a growth in energy consumption. [In terms of] energy use compared to per capita income, we must be as efficient as Brazil, India and China and use less energy to achieve the same income per capita growth compared with industrialised countries,” said Du Plooy.

Recently, South Africa increased its energy consumption but without matching growth in per capita income, he said.

One of the reasons this was happening was that inputs into the economy were becoming increasingly expensive and financial institutions and business performed poorly at predicting future costs, said Du Plooy.

“The International Energy Agency has consistently underpredicted the price of oil. However, it also admits that, unless we move into the green infrastructure paradigm, we face, effectively, increasing oil prices.

“That is why it is critical to switch to green infrastructure – to decouple the infrastructure from prices that are drivers of inflation.”

However, this would depend on internalising some of the social costs, such as the cost of carbon, for example, to change the economy to one decoupled from inflationary pressures.

Further, mechanisms such as Botswana’s sovereign wealth fund can play a significant role in intergenerational equity, funding infrastructure projects and the concept of the social wage, or how a country invests in its people.

Du Plooy warned, however, that a focus on macroeconomic movements and inflation must remain, because inflation eats wealth.


The economic motivation for a transition to green infrastructure was intricately tied to long-term inflation control, he said.

“If we do not manage our land, food price infla- tion becomes an issue over time; if we do not manage to move our electricity systems away from finite resources, we know that inflation will come back in the form of petrol and electricity bills,” he explained.

Building green infrastructure was a critical component of long-term inflation control. To enable this, a suite of instruments was available, including internalising the social costs and reduc- ing the financial costs through planning.

These included taxes based on finite common resources and resource rent taxes, while carbon taxes were potential sources of revenue that could be reinvested.

“The private sector, however, questions whether governments can work well with the money from, for example, a carbon tax. The use of a sovereign wealth fund, which has governmental mandates but is privately run, can provide a useful tool.

“If we tax carbon, we have to direct the funds to investments and this can have a net positive impact on gross domestic product. This is one of the significant findings from the modelling plan,” he noted.

Du Plooy urged debate around a sovereign wealth fund and also mooted a harmonised tax regime around the exports of minerals from Africa, as well as using some of the funds that the continent gains from its mineral wealth to establish a development fund that would build infrastructure that would continue to provide benefits after the resources had been mined out.

Edited by: Martin Zhuwakinyu
© Reuse this Comment Guidelines (150 word limit)
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Other Environment News
PARTICIPATION INCREASE The South African Fruit and Wine Industry Confronting Climate Change initiative focuses on supporting emerging farmers to calculate their carbon footprint
In addition to registering significant growth in the number of wine cellars calculating their carbon emissions, the South African Fruit and Wine Industry Confronting Climate Change (CCC) initiative has, over the past year, noted increased interest from other...
RECYCLING REWARDS One tonne of recovered paper saves three cubic metres of landfill space, reducing costs for municipalities
In an effort to replace the old N-level courses previously offered by former further education and training colleges, the Paper Manufacturers Association of South Africa (Pamsa), in partnership with the Fibre Processing and Manufacturing (FP&M) sector education and...
DRAINING RESOURCE The World Economic Forum’s ‘Global Risks 2015’ report rates water crises as “the greatest risk” worldwide, with water scarcity also being a key risk
Despite a global understanding and emphasis on water as a scarce resource, South Africa is not taking sufficient cognisance of the future risk of water security and its potential impact on business, and the domestic, industrial and mining sectors, says research and...
Article contains comments
More
 
 
Latest News
Updated 12 minutes ago Paper and packaging group Mpact has concluded a broad-based black-economic empowerment (BBBEE) deal that will see a purpose-formed trust subscribing for 10% of the ordinary issued shares in group subsidiary Mpact Operations, which holds its South African businesses....
Updated 17 minutes ago With South African business and consumer confidence being negatively affected by the unfavourable exchange rate and power cuts, JSE-listed Nampak the performance of its local businesses was under pressure, particularly its home business division. The company said on...
Barbara Creecy
Updated 19 minutes ago Throwing open a process often criticised for its lack of transparency and frequent irregularities, the Gauteng Provincial Government (GPG) for the first time on Wednesday opened the adjudication of a tender to the public, describing it as an effort to improve...
More
 
 
Recent Research Reports
Steel 2015: A review of South Africa's steel sector (PDF Report)
Creamer Media’s Steel 2015 report provides an overview of the key developments in the global steel industry and particularly of South Africa’s steel sector over the past year, including details of production and consumption, as well as the country's primary carbon...
Projects in Progress 2015 - First Edition (PDF Report)
In fact, this edition of Creamer Media’s Projects in Progress 2015 supplement tracks developments taking place under the Renewable Energy Independent Power Producer Procurement Programme, which has had four bidding rounds. It appears to remain a shining light on the...
Electricity 2015: A review of South Africa's electricity sector (PDF Report)
Creamer Media’s Electricity 2015 report provides an overview of State-owned power utility Eskom and independent power producers, as well as electricity planning, transmission, distribution and the theft thereof, besides other issues.
Construction 2015: A review of South Africa’s construction sector (PDF Report)
Creamer Media’s Construction 2015 Report examines South Africa’s construction industry over the past 12 months. The report provides insight into the business environment; the key participants in the sector; local construction demand; geographic diversification;...
Liquid Fuels 2014 - A review of South Africa's Liquid Fuels sector (PDF Report)
Creamer Media’s Liquid Fuels 2014 Report examines these issues, focusing on the business environment, oil and gas exploration, the country’s feedstock supplies, the development of South Africa’s biofuels industry, fuel pricing, competition in the sector, the...
Water 2014: A review of South Africa's water sector (PDF Report)
Creamer Media’s Water 2014 report considers the aforementioned issues, not only in the South African context, but also in the African and global context, and examines the issues of water and sanitation, water quality and the demand for water, among others.
 
 
 
 
 
This Week's Magazine
Projected capital expenditure (capex) in the South African automotive assembly industry should reach a record R7.48-billion this year, says the National Association of Automobile Manufacturers of South Africa (Naamsa) in its 2014 fourth quarter business review. Capex...
After several years of navigating project-threatening red tape and currency fluctuations, the 4.4 MW Bronkhorstspruit biogas power plant, which will supply clean energy to a leading automotive manufacturer in Gauteng, is expected to enter production before June....
RESOURCEFUL The raw material for the pilot plant would be supplied from the dissolving wood pulp plants at Sappi’s Saiccor and Ngodwana mills, in South Africa, and the Cloquet mill, in the US
South African paper and pulp producer Sappi reported earlier this month that it would build a pilot plant for the production of low-cost Cellulose NanoFibrils, or CNF (nanocellulose) at the Brightlands Chemelot Campus in Sittard-Geleen in the Netherlands.
The long-term outlook for Nigeria is a country that has the potential to be very strong. So affirmed International Monetary Fund (IMF) Nigeria Mission Chief and Senior Resident Representative Dr Gene Leon on recently. "But we are starting from a point of huge...
Poor infrastructure planning and inadequate maintenance are becoming increasingly problematic for new developments and the associated infrastructure required to support such developments. In many urban and rural municipalities, the state of infrastructure has been...
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Alert Close
Embed Code Close
content
Research Reports Close
Research Reports are a product of the
Research Channel Africa. Reports can be bought individually or you can gain full access to all reports as part of a Research Channel Africa subscription.
Find Out More Buy Report
 
 
Close
Engineering News
Completely Re-Engineered
Experience it now. Click here
*website to launch in a few weeks
Subscribe Now for $96 Close
Subscribe Now for $96