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Climate Change News

Africa’s climate vulnerabilities should be highlighted at Durban meet – Greenpeace

By: Christy van der Merwe     18th March 2011 South Africa should use its position as the host of the United Nation's (UN’s) seventeenth Conference of the Parties (COP17) for global climate change negotiations in December, to highlight the vulnerabilities of the African continent to the effects of climate change. Greenpeace Africa executive... 

Business should aim for deeper engagement in climate talks  

By: Christy van der Merwe     17th March 2011 South Africa faced a “difficult challenge as a country” in dealing with a set of tough issues that were not dealt with at the 2010 Cancun global climate change negotiations, said Joanne Yawitch, who was one of the government’s main climate negotiators before she moved to the National Business... 

Global sustainable insurance initiative consultations launched in SA

By: Christy van der Merwe     16th March 2011 The United Nations Environmental Programme (Unep) Finance Initiative (FI) began global consultation sessions on its draft Principles for Sustainable Insurance (PSI) in Johannesburg on Wednesday, where after another six workshops would take place in different regions across the world. The event... 

Treasury to hold carbon tax workshop on Wednesday

By: Christy van der Merwe     15th March 2011 The National Treasury would on Wednesday hold a carbon tax workshop in Midrand, around a discussion paper it released, which forms part of the Treasury’s engagement on the possible introduction of a carbon tax. A discussion paper on carbon taxes was published by the National Treasury for public... 

NGO to host Joburg green economy business briefing next month  

By: Mary-Anne O’Donnell     10th March 2011 Sustainable living nongovernmental organisation Mama Earth will host a green economy business breakfast in Johannesburg on April 11, 2011, where the link between government’s industrial policy plans and South Africa’s sustainable development commitments will be explored. 

Durban meeting should highlight effect of climate change on Africa 

By: Christy van der Merwe     7th March 2011 South Africa should use its position as the host of the United Nation's 17th Conference of the Parties (COP17) for global climate change negotiations in December, to highlight the vulnerabilities of the African continent to the effects of climate change. Greenpeace Africa executive director... 

Parallel actions needed as global negotiations are not progressing fast enough to postpone climate crisis

By: Christy van der Merwe     4th March 2011 The world will need to accelerate parallel actions to tackle climate change because global climate negotiations are progressing so slowly that they will not postpone the climate crisis, and may be rendered useless, says Norwegian School of Management climate strategy professor Jørgen Randers. 

Parliamentary hearings on climate Green Paper get under way

By: Petronel Smit     3rd March 2011 Parliament’s Portfolio Committee on Water and Environmental Affairs on Thursday started its public hearings on the Climate Change Green Paper, in Cape Town. Water and Environmental Affairs Minister Edna Molewa released the draft climate change policy late last year. 

DEA’s Yawitch moves to NBI, to remain part of climate delegation

By: Christy van der Merwe     28th February 2011 South Africa’s National Business Initiative (NBI) has appointed former Department of Environmental Affairs deputy director-general Joanne Yawitch as the new CEO of the organisation from March 1. In her government position, Yawitch was leading the international climate change talks on behalf of... 

Energy-intensive firms team up to make carbon tax input 

By: Terence Creamer     18th February 2011 Energy-intensive companies operating in South Africa have established an ‘Industry Task Team on Climate Change’, or ITTCC, to prepare a formal response to the National Treasury’s ‘Carbon Tax Discussion Paper’, which was released for public comment on December 13, 2010 – interested parties have... 

2011 Budget could set green-economy tone

By: Christy van der Merwe     18th February 2011 South Africa’s National Budget will be presented to Parliament on February 23, 2011, and it is expected that National Treasury will allocate more funds to energy efficiency and ‘green’ projects as the government seeks to grow the green economy. 

Consulting firm warns against unintended consequences of SA carbon tax 

By: Christy van der Merwe     16th February 2011 As South Africa grappled with the proposed introduction of a carbon tax, consultancy firm Africa International Advisors (AIA) has warned that carbon regulation, and in particular taxation, must not disadvantage South Africa economically, relative to other competing economies, given the country’s... 

Draft carbon tax a ‘nonstarter’, Nyembezi-Heita asserts  

By: Terence Creamer     8th February 2011 Steel producer ArcelorMittal South Africa (Mittal) has warned that the proposed introduction of carbon taxes could undermine its competitiveness against both developing and developed country steel producers, which do not currently confront such a tax burden, and could also materially affect its... 

DEA urges industry to comment on climate policy

By: Christy van der Merwe     4th February 2011 Environmental Affairs deputy director general Joanne Yawitch called on industry to comment on the national climate change green paper, and in particular, to highlight vulnerabilities of infrastructure that could be compromised by climate change impacts. She conceded that the focus from industry... 

SA will need to manage Durban climate change conference expectations 

By: Christy van der Merwe     4th February 2011 The eyes of the world will look to Durban in December, when South Africa hosts the global climate change negotiations, but the country will need to realistically manage expectations regarding what can emerge from the conference. 

Africa’s access to energy to be key theme of upcoming conference

By: Eleanor Seggie     4th February 2011 ‘Access to Energy’ is the focus of this year’s Energy Indaba, the annual conference and exhibition, which will be held this year from March 1 to March 3, at the Sandton Convention Centre, in Johannesburg. 

IFC invests €150m in post-2012 carbon credits fund

By: Creamer Media Reporter      3rd February 2011 The International Finance Corporation (IFC) on Thursday launched a €150-million fund to forward purchase certified emission reductions (CERs or carbon credits) that were expected to be produced between 2013 to 2020, from greenhouse-gas (GHG) reducing projects, either directly financed by the IFC... 

SA faces big bill, big tests as climate talks head for Durban 

By: Christy van der Merwe     2nd February 2011 The tab for South Africa’s hosting of the seventeenth conference of the parties (COP17) climate change talks in Durban later this year could be more than R320-million, Environmental Affairs DDG Joanne Yawitch revealed on Wednesday. But she added that the country was planning to organise a “lean... 

Science and technology must be calibrated to climate change threats

By: Christy van der Merwe     28th January 2011 Science and technology will have to be regeared to meet global challenges, and this will require overcoming the current technological and institutional inertia, says former scientific adviser to the British government, Sir David King. Speaking at a lecture at the University of the Witwatersrand,... 

SA construction firms starting to focus on green practices

By: Christy van der Merwe     25th January 2011 As increasing environmental pressures take hold in South Africa, the country’s major construction companies showed that they were starting to focus on pursuing green practices and projects, particularly in renewable energy projects where opportunities were emerging. For Group Five in particular,... 

SA economy ‘poorly placed’ to deal with climate change challenges 

By: Christy van der Merwe     24th January 2011 Business will have to play an instrumental role in developing and implementing climate policy in South Africa and will have to go beyond a mere process of engagement, climate change consultancy Camco stresses in a report. The report, ‘Climate Change: Risks and Opportunities for the South African... 

Revegetation used as a CO2 offset measure

21st January 2011 Ground engineering and environmental consultancy firm Golder Associates says that although current legislation does not hold companies responsible for the greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions generated from land clearing or soil stockpiling, businesses should incorporate these carbon deficits into... 

Bank promotes initiatives to mitigate climate change

By: Tracy Hancock     21st January 2011 Nedbank, which is the first carbon neutral bank in Africa, is trying to achieve an overarching approach to its projects to ensure that a range of resources are targeted in mitigating climate change, says banking group Nedbank sustainability carbon specialist Marco Lotz. “Too often as a country,... 

France, SA team up on Africa marine and atmospheric science studies

By: Christy van der Merwe     21st January 2011 An international joint laboratory between South Africa and France, called the International Centre for Education, Marine and Atmospheric Science over Africa (Icemasa), which will study the impacts of global change on the African climate and marine systems, was launched in Cape Town in January. 

Remanufactured printer cartridges reduce carbon footprint

By: Tracy Hancock     21st January 2011 Remanufacturer of printer consumables Royce Imaging Industries reports that producing remanufactured printer cartridges saves 2,5 kg of carbon dioxide emissions a unit, which is emitted when manufacturing new printer cartridges. The company, which is currently producing about 11 000... 

SA should realistically manage Durban climate meeting expectations  

By: Christy van der Merwe     20th January 2011 The eyes of the world would look upon Durban in December, when South Africa hosts the global climate change negotiations, but the country would need to realistically manage expectations regarding what could emerge from the conference. “It’s important that we are very real about what is possible”... 

Re-gear science and technology to tackle climate change – King  

By: Christy van der Merwe     18th January 2011 Science and technology will have to be re-geared to meet global challenges, and this would require overcoming a technological and institutional inertia which existed, said former scientific adviser to the British government, Sir David King. Speaking at a lecture at Wits University in... 

Carbon mispricing delaying investment, crimping recovery  

By: Terence Creamer     17th January 2011 The current "mispricing" of carbon is a serious disincentive to investors with projects designed to “retrofit” economies for a lower carbon future and to investments that would help stimulate still flagging global aggregate demand and job creation, Nobel award-winning economist Professor Joseph... 

DEA to host provincial climate policy workshops 

By: Creamer Media Reporter      14th January 2011 Provincial public consultation workshops will be hosted on South Africa’s draft National Climate Change Response Green Paper, which was released in November, the Department of Environmental Affairs (DEA) announced at the weekend. The workshops, which would kick off in the Western Cape on January... 

SA lawmakers seek public input on climate change policy 

By: Christy van der Merwe     13th January 2011 South Africa’s Parliamentary Portfolio Committee on Water and Environmental Affairs has called for public input on the country’s draft climate change policy, currently still a Green Paper, ahead of Parliamentary hearings into the proposed policy in February or early March 2011. The committee has... 

Carbon tax could earn govt R82,5bn a year 

By: Christy van der Merwe     4th January 2011 The South African government stood to collect some R82,5-billion a year in additional revenue from carbon tax, if a price of R165/t of CO2e (carbon dioxide equivalent) was assumed. This was according to research done by Deloitte using the 2010 South African Carbon Disclosure Project (CDP) as a... 

Companies urged to study carbon tax document 

By: Christy van der Merwe     3rd January 2011 Companies should seriously consider the National Treasury’s carbon tax discussion document released in December, and conduct thorough research to submit thoughtful economic reasoning, Deloitte tax director Duane Newman said on Monday. Companies have until February 28 to comment on the carbon tax... 

SA calls for legally-binding outcome at climate change talks

By: Sapa     15th December 2010 South Africa and other developing countries called for a legally binding outcome at the climate change talks held in Mexico over the past week. "SA, along with most other developing countries in Africa, called for a two-track legally binding outcome... where developed countries who joined the... 

Cabinet approves draft carbon tax policy 

By: Christy van der Merwe     9th December 2010 The South African Cabinet has approved a draft carbon tax policy, which would be published for public comment “shortly”. Cabinet said that the tax policy presented the environmental and economic rationale for carbon tax measures to address climate change. It was stated that the policy focused... 

More companies adopting sustainability strategies – survey 

By: Christy van der Merwe     9th December 2010 The number of companies worldwide with active corporate sustainability programmes is increasing, owing to growing pressure from regulators and a rising concern over the potential for brand and reputational management, a global survey has found. KPMG International commissioned the research... 

World Bank to launch carbon trading fund, other climate initiatives  

By: Christy van der Merwe     8th December 2010 While attending the global climate change conference in Cancun, Mexico, World Bank president Robert Zoellick would help launch a number of initiatives, including a new multi-million dollar fund to support developing country domestic carbon trading systems. The issue of funding for developing... 

SA seeks to mainstream climate change response, but obligations remain fuzzy

By: Christy van der Merwe     3rd December 2010 As the world settles into another yearly round of global climate change nego- tiations in Cancún, Mexico – without much hope for a legally binding deal emerging – South Africa has taken an important climate change step with the release of the National Climate Change Response Green Paper by Water... 

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