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Environmental News

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... 

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.  

Youth need to be involved in dealing with climate change, Italians and Africans agree 

By: Rebecca Campbell     9th December 2020 Italy is co-organising next year’s COP26 Climate Conference with the UK, and Rome is placing particular emphasis on informing and involving young people regarding climate change, highlighted Italian Ambassador to South Africa Paolo Cuculi in a joint briefing in Pretoria on Tuesday. The briefing,... 

World not yet meeting climate change target, five years after signing the Paris Accord

By: Rebecca Campbell     8th December 2020 The world is lagging when it comes to the implementation of the Paris Climate Accord (also known as the Paris Agreement), French Ambassador to South Africa Aurélien Lechavallier warned on Tuesday. He was participating in a joint briefing in Pretoria marking the fifth anniversary of the accord... 

UK committed to help South Africa and poor countries with climate change measures

By: Rebecca Campbell     8th December 2020 UK High Commissioner to South Africa Nigel Casey confirmed on Tuesday that his country was still committed to doubling its climate finance assistance to developing countries to £11.6-billion over the next five years. He was speaking at a joint briefing in Pretoria (which he hosted) marking the... 

DTIC, partners launch Global Eco-Industrial Parks Programme in South Africa   

By: Tasneem Bulbulia     7th December 2020 The Department of Trade, Industry and Competition (DTIC) and the National Cleaner Production Centre South Africa (NCPC-SA), in partnership with the United Nations Industrial Development Organisation (Unido) and the Swiss State Secretariat for Economic Affairs (Seco) on December 7 officially... 

DTIC, partners launch Global Eco-Industrial Parks Programme in South Africa
Unido programme manager Christian Susan outlines what an eco-industial park is and what it entails.

Tech must be leveraged to tackle climate change, speakers say

By: Tasneem Bulbulia     3rd December 2020 The effects of climate change are being felt across the Southern African Development Community (SADC) region, and science and technology can play a key role in adaptation to, mitigation of, and the overcoming of these effects, speakers said during the Southern African Science Service Centre for... 

Wits, York University to develop AI Covid-19 project

By: Sane Dhlamini     3rd December 2020 The University of the Witwatersrand has teamed up with York University, in Canada to undertake an artificial intelligence project that will be used to tackle the coronavirus pandemic in Africa. The project will be carried out by the Africa-Canada Artificial Intelligence and Public Health Data... 

Wits, York University to develop AI Covid-19 project

Dept acknowledges Thabametsi power station environmental decision

By: Tasneem Bulbulia     2nd December 2020 Environment, Forestry and Fisheries Minister Barbara Creecy says she has noted the decision by the North Gauteng High Court to set aside the environmental authorisation for the Thabametsi coal-fired power station. The Department of Environment, Forestry and Fisheries says it will abide by the... 

Record number of companies disclosing sustainability impacts

By: Donna Slater     1st December 2020 The Global Reporting Initiative (GRI) has welcomed KPMG research that shows a record number of companies, spanning many sectors and geographic regions, are voluntarily disclosing their sustainability impacts – with the GRI Standards the most widely used for reporting. GRI is an independent,... 

Record number of companies disclosing sustainability impacts
GRI chairperson Eric Hespenheide

Eskom to be charged with misleading regulator over pollution

By: Bloomberg     30th November 2020 Eskom Holdings, South Africa’s State power utility, said it will be charged with supplying misleading information to the national air quality officer as well exceeding emissions limits at the Kendal coal-fired power plant and breaching its Atmospheric Emission License. “Eskom can confirm it has... 

Arid areas in poorer and richer countries affected differently by climate change 

By: Rebecca Campbell     30th November 2020 At the global level, as 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:... 

Opinion: How African countries can mobilise private capital for their infrastructure drives

27th November 2020 In this opinion piece, Standard Bank corporate and investment banking CE Kenny Fihla writes about governments turning to public-private partnerships to deliver large-scale projects. Given the pressure on investment yields in developed markets, African nations have an opportunity to attract... 

Opinion: How African countries can mobilise private capital for their infrastructure drives

Sustainability presents good business case for companies, speakers say

By: Tasneem Bulbulia     27th November 2020 Businesses can achieve both environmental and economic benefits by implementing sustainable business practices and that should be done in a just transitional process, speakers noted during electronics company Epson’s ‘Towards a Greener Future’ webinar on November 27. Industry body, the Paper... 

Panel on EIPs to feature at Indaba

By: Darren Parker     27th November 2020 The National Cleaner Production Centre South Africa (NCPC-SA) will host a panel at this year’s Manufacturing Indaba on industrial parks, the potential to transform them into eco-industrial parks (EIPs) and leveraging them for accelerated development. This year, the NCPC-SA, United Nations... 

Panel on EIPs to  feature at Indaba
HENRY NUWARINDA The Global Eco-Industrial Park Programme will ensure an added level of quality control and cost-efficiency

African funds with dedicated ESG mandates could hold up to R500bn in JSE-listed equities

By: Simone Liedtke     26th November 2020 African funds with dedicated environmental, social and governance (ESG) mandates could hold JSE-listed equities worth up to R500-billion over the medium term as the focus on sustainability intensifies, a research report by SBG Securities shows. This shows that corporates with strong ESG... 

SANEDI rolls out cool surface proof of concept project in Limpopo

By: Simone Liedtke     26th November 2020 The South African National Energy and Development Institute (SANEDI) has implemented a successful cool surface proof of concept (PoC) project at the Department of Defence’s (DoD's) South African Military Health Service (SAMHS) training facility in Lephalale, Limpopo. The project, which entailed... 

SANEDI rolls out cool surface proof of concept project in Limpopo

Cabinet approves two measures to address country’s threatened biodiversity

By: Tasneem Bulbulia     25th November 2020 Two measures have been approved by Cabinet to assist in addressing threats to the country’s biodiversity. During a virtual Cabinet meeting on November 18, the updated National Protected Areas Expansion Strategy and the revised National Biodiversity Framework (NBF) were approved. 

Greencape highlights importance of green SMMEs in economic recovery

By: Marleny Arnoldi     25th November 2020 Green economy organisation Greencape is drafting policy recommendations around development and support for green small, medium-sized and microenterprises (SMMEs), which is being informed by a support programme the company launched with help from the European Union (EU). Greencape had earmarked... 

UP conducts real time emissions testing to help inform policy

By: Marleny Arnoldi     23rd November 2020 The Centre for Transport Development, within the University of Pretoria’s (UP’s) Faculty of Engineering, Built Environment and Information Technology, has acquired a system that can measure vehicle emissions while driving. The portable emissions measurement system (Pems) unit is a first for... 

UP conducts real time emissions testing to help inform policy
An engineering student and Professor Johan Joubert alongside UP's portable emissions measurement system

World leaders praise Paris climate pact as Trump justifies exit

By: Bloomberg     23rd November 2020 World leaders urged countries not to lose sight of climate goals in the coronavirus pandemic, endorsing the aims of the Paris agreement amid hopes that US President-elect Joe Biden will rejoin the accord. Participants on the second day of a virtual Group of 20 summit of rich nations discussed... 

World leaders praise Paris climate pact as Trump justifies exit

Green economy faces challenge to replace carbon energy sources

By: Bloomberg     19th November 2020 The march toward a greener global economy is headed into a more difficult second phase that will aim to replace carbon as an energy source, said panelists during the Bloomberg New Economy Forum. Companies including Honeywell International and Schneider Electricare offering solutions to reduce... 

Climate Transparency questions South Africa’s commitment to phasing out coal

By: Marleny Arnoldi     18th November 2020 A report by Climate Transparency has cautioned the Group of Twenty (G20) countries against quick-fix Covid-19 stimulus packages that favour fossil fuel industries. The global partnership has a shared mission to stimulate a “race to the top” in climate action in the G20 countries through enhanced... 

Solar power industry has opportunity to build recycling value chain from scratch  

By: Marleny Arnoldi     18th November 2020 Solar photovoltaic (PV) power users, both utility-scale and rooftop users alike, will have to start thinking about, and develop, ways in which the waste of solar power generation facilities will be managed at the end of their lives. In terms of the industry’s regulatory requirements, the solar... 

Solar power industry has opportunity to build recycling value chain from scratch
DEFF hazardous waste management and licensing chief director Mishelle Govender shares insight on solar PV recycling

Britain to ban new petrol cars and vans by 2030 on road to net zero emissions

By: Reuters     18th November 2020 Britain will move up a ban on new petrol and diesel cars and vans to 2030 and is eyeing 250 000 new jobs as part of a green industrial revolution, Prime Minister Boris Johnson said as he tries to meet Britain's net zero emissions climate target. Johnson is seeking to show his government is on... 

Sasol working to reset business for low-carbon world 

13th November 2020 Financially and environmentally beleaguered energy and chemicals group Sasol is working to reset its business for a low-carbon world. Engineering News Editor Terence Creamer unpacks the emerging strategy. 

Sasol working to reset business for low-carbon world
Sasol working to reset business for low-carbon world

Eskom ordered to rectify pollution issues at three power plants

By: Bloomberg     13th November 2020 Eskom Holdings, South Africa’s state power utility, was ordered to comply with pollution limits at three of its coal-fired plants this year while two more are being investigated, the government’s environment department said in its first disclosure about most of the orders. The violations listed... 

Tech partnership brews beer from re-used water 

By: Halima Frost     13th November 2020 Local water technology company Xylem has partnered with Berlin water utility Berliner Wasserbetriebe and the Kompetenzzentrum Wasser Berlin (the Berlin Centre of Competence for Water) to produce Berlin Reuse Brew. Berlin Reuse Brew is a beer made from purified and treated wastewater. 

Tech partnership brews beer from re-used water
Xylem Water Solutions treatment project manager Brendan van Wyk discusses the use of ozone and ultraviolet technology in the cleaning processes in breweries and wineries. Camerawork: Kutlwano Matlala. Editing: Nicholas Boyd. Recorded: 21.10.20

Calls for support for waste pickers on the rise 

By: Simone Liedtke     12th November 2020 African Reclaimer Organisation (ARO) chairperson Eli Kodisang is calling for additional support for waste picker organisations and waste reclaimers as part of South Africa’s journey to reducing waste. Speaking during the virtual Plastics Colloquium on November 12, Kodisang lamented that the waste... 

Calls for support for waste pickers on the rise
African Reclaimer Organisation (ARO) chairperson Eli Kodisang speaking during the 2020 Plastics Colloquium. Video: Creamer Media's Kutlwano Matlala. Editing: Creamer Media's Nicholas Boyd.

'New roadmap' needed for South Africa to deal with plastic waste pollution 

By: Simone Liedtke     12th November 2020 Although the plastics and plastic products industry contributed about R70-billion to South Africa’s economy in 2019, according to Plastics South Africa, plastic pollution has also had a significant impact on the country’s ecosystem services. Therefore, Environment, Forestry and Fisheries Minister... 

'New roadmap' needed for South Africa to deal with plastic waste pollution
Environment, Forestry and Fisheries Minister Barbara Creecy delivers the keynote address at this year's Plastics Colloquium. Video: Creamer Media's Kutlwano Matlala. Editing: Creamer Media's Nicholas Boyd.

Climate change could make Cape Town a very dry place

By: Rebecca Campbell     12th November 2020 Scientists at two American institutions, Stanford University and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), have warned that climate change caused by human activities has greatly increased the probability of Cape Town being again afflicted by very severe droughts such as that... 

Sasol pins low-carbon ‘reset’ hopes on gas, renewables and green hydrogen  

By: Terence Creamer     11th November 2020 Energy and chemicals group Sasol, which is coming under increasing pressure to reduce its carbon emissions, reports that climate change is now “front and centre” in its unfolding ‘strategic reset’, which will involve a transition away from coal to gas, renewable energy and green hydrogen. In... 

Sasol pins low-carbon ‘reset’ hopes on gas, renewables and green hydrogen
Photo by Creamer Media's Donna Slater
Sasol CEO Fleetwood Grobler

WEF seeks to start a multistakeholder dialogue on deep-sea mining

By: Tasneem Bulbulia     11th November 2020 A new way to meet the growing demand for minerals critical to electric vehicle, electronics and battery manufacturers could become commercially available within this decade, says the World Economic Forum (WEF). It notes that significant public and private investment have gone into investigating... 

WEF seeks to start a multistakeholder dialogue on deep-sea mining

Covid-19 accelerates energy transitions - PwC 

By: Donna Slater     11th November 2020 Assurance, advisory and tax services firm PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) reports – through its newly released Africa Oil & Gas Review, titled Energising a New Tomorrow – that the rampant spread of the Covid-19 pandemic globally has resulted in galvanising of commitments to a green energy... 

Covid-19 accelerates energy transitions - PwC
PwC energy strategy and infrastructure director James Mackay discusses how Covid-19 has sped up developments in the green energy sector.

NGOs call on global investor climate initiative to intervene in Sasol shareholder issue

By: Tasneem Bulbulia     10th November 2020 Nongovernmental organisation Just Share, supported by shareholder activist organisations ShareAction (UK), Majority Action (USA), Follow This (Netherlands) and the Australasian Centre for Corporate Responsibility (ACCR), has written to Climate Action 100+ (CA100+) − the world’s largest investor... 

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