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Environmental News

After pandemic, oil firms even less willing to cover $3.9bn cost of South Africa's clean fuel plan 

By: Reuters     22nd January 2021 After being hit by the pandemic, oil companies in South Africa are unlikely to upgrade refineries to cut sulphur emissions unless the government allows them to pass the costs on to consumers or offers other support, the South African Petroleum Industry Association (Sapia) says. New rules... 

Company facilitates workshops, audits for road compliance

By: Cameron Mackay     22nd January 2021 Local auditing company JC Auditors has played an integral supporting role in the efforts of the Road Transport Management System’s (RTMS’) National Steering Committee by conducting audits and hosting RTMS workshops, having hosted the first RTMS workshop in 2003.   RTMS is an industry-led and... 

Company facilitates workshops, audits  for road compliance
VITAL FIRST INSPECTIONS JC Auditors were able to conduct on site truck inspections with the onset of Covid-19 Level 3 restrictions last year

Pandemic management, vaccine to shape economies in 2021

By: Tasneem Bulbulia     21st January 2021 Three factors will determine the trajectory of the global economy in 2021, Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu chief global economist Dr Ira Kalish has said. Speaking during a virtual executive conference hosted by professional services organisation Deloitte on January 20, he said the path of the pandemic... 

Satellites successfully used to count wild elephants

By: Rebecca Campbell     21st January 2021 A team of scientists from British and Dutch universities have, for the first time, used satellite imagery combined with ‘deep learning’ (data processing artificial intelligence) to successfully count large animals in complex and varied terrestrial landscapes. Previously, this approach had been... 

Unctad updates principles to promote biodiversity-friendly trade

By: Tasneem Bulbulia     21st January 2021 Intergovernmental body the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (Unctad) has launched its updated BioTrade Principles and Criteria, a set of guidelines for governments and companies to conduct biodiversity-friendly trade. The term “BioTrade” refers to the supply and... 

Report views decarbonising supply chains as ‘major opportunity’

By: Simone Liedtke     21st January 2021 The commitment to tackling climate change is accelerating in all sectors of society, with net-zero pledges from companies, cities, States and regions having doubled in the past year. The World Economic Forum (WEF) says decarbonising supply chains is a major opportunity for companies to put these... 

Project launched to define role of finance in South Africa and India’s ‘just transitions’ 

By: Terence Creamer     19th January 2021 A new multi-partner initiative has been launched with the aim of defining the role that finance can and should play in supporting both South Africa and India’s aspirations to implement “just transitions” to more climate-resilient economies. The ‘Just Transition Finance Roadmaps in South Africa... 

 Project launched to define role of finance in South Africa and India’s ‘just transitions’

Dept postpones implementation of EPR Regulations for the waste sector

By: Tasneem Bulbulia     19th January 2021 Environment, Forestry and Fisheries Minister Barbara Creecy has postponed the implementation of the Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR) Regulations to May 5. This follows a request from affected producers to make further inputs into the implementation process. 

DEFF issues yellow alert for harmful West Coast red tide, partners prepare for red alert

By: Schalk Burger     18th January 2021 Following the build-up of harmful algal blooms - called red tides - on the West Coast over the past few weeks, the Department of Environment, Forestry and Fisheries (DEFF) has issued a Situation Yellow alert under the West Coast Rock Lobster Contingency Plan and placed all government role-players... 

PepsiCo’s net-zero supply chain target provides blueprint for industry, says GlobalData

By: Tasneem Bulbulia     15th January 2021 Following food company PepsiCo’s announcement on January 14 of a plan to achieve net-zero emissions across its supply chain by 2040, data analytics and consulting company GlobalData has indicated that net-zero supply chains are the future of fast-moving consumer goods (FMCG), as 84% of consumers... 

Consumers playing role in keeping plastic tubs out of landfills, says Polyco

By: Tasneem Bulbulia     15th January 2021 Research has highlighted that a significant proportion of consumers re-use margarine, large yoghurt and ice cream tubs made from polypropylene (PP), extending their lifespan and keeping these products out of landfill. Led by nonprofit company the Polyolefin Responsibility Organisation (Polyco),... 

Various challenges hindering gas market development

15th January 2021 In a report by advisory firm Wood Mackenzie titled ‘Sub-Saharan Africa’s (SSAs) Gas Opportunity: Are Governments Doing Enough’, fiscal and valuations principal analyst Greg Roddick notes that given the lack of reliable and affordable energy in SSA, gas should be playing a vital role.  However, he... 

Various challenges hindering gas market development
GREG RODDICK There may be little need to incentivise discoveries with domestic markets potentially well supplied in the future

Chamber motivates for local participation

By: Mc'Kyla Nortje     15th January 2021 With the current liquefied natural gas (LNG) projects under way in Mozambique, Mozambique Oil and Gas Chamber executive chairman Florival Mucave notes that government needs to ensure that there are rules and regulations in place to encourage local participation. Mozambique has a unique... 

Chamber motivates for local participation
FLORIVAL MUCAVE The chamber will foster relations between members and their counterparts as well as develop a platform of companies providing goods and services

Waste management sector ready to deal with vaccine-related waste, says Averda

By: Tasneem Bulbulia     14th January 2021 As South Africa prepares for the rollout of millions of doses of Covid-19 vaccines later this year, waste management company Averda's healthcare operations manager Gerhard van der Merwe tells Engineering News the company does not expect much change in the medical waste industry locally when doses... 

Waste management sector ready to deal with vaccine-related waste, says Averda
Businesses globally re-evaluated their approach to cleaning and hygiene regimes in 2020 owing to the pandemic

New report highlights growing financing gap for climate adaptation 

By: Terence Creamer     14th January 2021 The United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) is warning that current levels of climate adaptation finance are woefully inadequate to support the planning and projects needed to limit the social and economic damage that will arise as a result of intensifying climate change. Distinct from... 

New report highlights growing financing gap for climate adaptation

WorldFish, LVFO strengthen research partnership for Lake Victoria sustainability

By: Tasneem Bulbulia     13th January 2021 To foster new opportunities for nutritious food and local livelihoods, international nonprofit research and innovation institution WorldFish has strengthened its research partnership with specialised institution the Lake Victoria Fishing Organisation (LVFO) to guide the development of sustainable... 

53% of adults think schools should not re-open amid rising Covid-19 infections – survey

By: Sane Dhlamini     13th January 2021 Round three of the University of Johannesburg/Human Sciences Research Council Covid-19 Democracy survey has revealed that 53% of adults think schools should not re-open until the situation concerning the coronavirus pandemic improves. Schools are due to open on January 27 as infections continue... 

53% of adults think schools should not re-open amid rising Covid-19 infections – survey

EIB supports investment in Great Green Wall initiative

By: Tasneem Bulbulia     12th January 2021 Long-term lending institution, the European Investment Bank (EIB), announced on January 11 that it aims to provide new financial and technical support to back sustainable agriculture, clean energy, water, infrastructure and private sector financing in 11 Sahel countries most vulnerable to a... 

Great Green Wall initiative receives $10bn injection

By: Tasneem Bulbulia     12th January 2021 The Great Green Wall for the Sahel and Sahara Initiative (GGW) has received at least $10-billion in new funding. The funding it set to be used to fast-track efforts to restore degrading land, save biological diversity and create green jobs and build the resilience of the Sahelian people. 

Danish PM to lead IEA commission on making energy transition people-centered 

By: Terence Creamer     11th January 2021 The International Energy Agency (IEA) has announced the creation of a high-level global commission, headed by Danish PM Mette Frederiksen, to investigate how to ensure that people are placed at the heart of the unfolding global clean-energy transition. Speaking during a virtual briefing on... 

Danish PM to lead IEA commission on making energy transition people-centered
Dr Fatih Birol

Earth’s margin for error narrows after another year of record heat

By: Bloomberg     8th January 2021 Another year of record-high heat punctuated a decade-long increase in global temperatures that has placed the Earth’s economies dangerously close to climate tipping points. Those are the conclusions published Friday by European Union scientists. Despite pandemic-induced lockdowns of the global... 

Assessment tool helps developers minimise wind turbine risk to eagles

By: Marleny Arnoldi     6th January 2021 Researchers from the Fitzpatrick Institute of African Ornithology (Fitztitute) at the University of Cape Town (UCT), HawkWatch International and the University of Amsterdam have developed a new tool that offers developers more accurate guidance on where to safely build wind farms to prevent birds... 

Assessment tool helps developers minimise wind turbine risk to eagles

Coca-Cola Foundation’s RAIN to replenish 15bn litres of water in South Africa

By: Creamer Media Reporter      18th December 2020 The Coca-Cola Foundation's Replenish Africa Initiative (RAIN) is funding five projects in South Africa to help restore priority water catchment areas by removing invasive alien plants, while creating valuable employment opportunities for women, youth and families. “These important water catchment... 

Ramaphosa appoints Climate Change Commission members 

By: African News Agency      18th December 2020 South African President Cyril Ramaphosa has appointed members of the Climate Change Coordinating Commission established to coordinate and oversee the transition towards a low-carbon and climate change resilient economy. A statement from the Presidency late on Thursday said the commission, an... 

Ramaphosa appoints Climate Change Commission members
President Cyril Ramaphosa

Siemens sees train boom from climate-conscious spending on rail

By: Bloomberg     18th December 2020 Siemens sees the rail market bouncing back from a coronavirus slump, aided by an international push to slash carbon-dioxide emissions from transport. The global market for trains and related infrastructure will expand by a quarter over the next three years to exceed pre-coronavirus levels,... 

Polluters make some net-zero progress, climate action 100+ says

By: Bloomberg     17th December 2020 Three years after some of the world’s biggest investors joined forces to pressure the largest producers of greenhouse gases to cut emissions, about half of them have made net-zero commitments. Climate Action 100+, an investor group with 545 members managing a combined $52 trillion of assets, said... 

Planet-warming emissions from buildings put climate goals at risk

By: Reuters     17th December 2020 Planet-warming carbon dioxide emissions from buildings and construction are jeopardising global goals to keep devastating climate change at bay, a UN-backed coalition warned on Wednesday, after data showed they hit an all-time high in 2019. The use of coal, oil and natural gas for heating,... 

Rare earth producers aim to agree global environment standards in 2021

By: Reuters     14th December 2020 Producers of rare earths, under increasing pressure from their industrial buyers over longstanding pollution issues, are hammering out a single set of global environmental standards, the head of the industry association has told Reuters. Manufacturers of products such as electronic goods and... 

Six ecosystem research sites selected for freshwater and terrestrial environmental observation network

By: Schalk Burger     11th December 2020 The National Research Foundation's (NRF's) South African Environment Observation Network (SAEON) has selected six ecosystem research sites across the country for the Expanded Freshwater and Terrestrial Environmental Observation Network (Efteon). “South Africa’s investment in Efteon is a major... 

Wind association lauds S Africa govt’s policy progress

11th December 2020 The South African Wind Energy Association (Sawea) has applauded the South African government for the progress made in policy over the last 12 months, beginning with the gazetting of the Integrated Resource Plan 2019 (IRP 2019) and all the hard work done, despite the Covid-19 pandemic, to ensure... 

Wind association lauds S Africa  govt’s policy progress
KANGAS WIND FARM The first bid window four wind farm, in the Northern Cape, to come on stream as part of government’s Renewable Energy Independent Power Producer Procurement Programme

Climate change affecting arid areas in poorer and richer countries differently

By: Rebecca Campbell     11th December 2020 At the global level, as the climate has been changing, the amount of vegetation in arid areas has been increasing. But scientists at the University of Copenhagen, Denmark, have, following analysis of 15 years’ worth of satellite imagery of vegetation and rainfall, identified a worrying trend:... 

UK aid to be focused on seven areas, including climate change, health and girls’ education

By: Rebecca Campbell     11th December 2020 UK Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab recently informed the House of Commons in London on the the Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office’s plans to overhaul Britain’s Official Development Assistance (ODA). This followed the UK government’s decision to temporarily reduce its ODA from the current... 

South Africa’s biggest power shift in over a generation holds big promise, and some risk

By: Terence Creamer     11th December 2020 Next year, 2021, is poised to be a pivotal one for South Africa’s renewable-energy sector – for real this time! The industry will have an opportunity, finally, to participate in the fifth bid window of the Renewable Energy Independent Power Producer Procurement Programme (REIPPPP), the bid... 

South Africa’s biggest power shift in over a generation holds big promise, and some risk

Materials recovery facility to capture up to 30% of Cape Town recyclable waste

By: Schalk Burger     11th December 2020 A specialised materials recovery facility to be built at the Coastal Park landfill site, in Muizenberg, will separate and prepare recyclable materials - 20% to 30% of waste by volume - as well as use electricity from landfill gases and use processed building rubble in bulk earthworks and as a... 

Materials recovery facility to capture up to 30% of  Cape Town recyclable waste

Standard Bank publishes climate-change-mitigating fossil fuels financing policy 

By: Donna Slater     10th December 2020 Financial services company Standard Bank Group has published its Fossil Fuels Financing Policy (FFFP) as part of its efforts to improve its management of environmental, social and governance (ESG) risks and contribute to the sustainable development of Africa.   This follows the 2019 adoption of... 

Standard Bank publishes climate-change-mitigating fossil fuels financing policy

SA to introduce Web-based Covid-19 screening system  

By: Sane Dhlamini     10th December 2020 The Department of Health on Thursday announced the launch of a pilot programme for a new Web-based travel health questionnaire to increase efforts to strengthen active screening and surveillance at ports of entry into South Africa. The department says with the full resumption of international... 

SA to introduce Web-based Covid-19 screening system

New DG appointed for environment dept

By: Donna Slater     9th December 2020 During a virtual meeting of Cabinet on December 2, Nomfundo Tshabalala was appointed Department of Environment, Forestry and Fisheries (DEFF) DG.   Former DG Nosipho Ngcaba had retired in June.  

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