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Environmental News

Govt adopts zero tolerance approach to water and environment offences

By: Dennis Ndaba     10th July 2009 South Africa is adopting a ‘zero tolerance’ of environment and water crimes, says Water and Environmental Affairs Minister Buyelwa Sonjica. 

$160bn structure needed for developing nations to deal with climate change 

By: Christy van der Merwe     9th July 2009 A new global financial architecture would be an important part of the global climate change deal intended to replace the Kyoto Protocol post 2012, and the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF) has suggested that this system would need to generate at least $160-billion a year. As the high-profile... 

More low-carbon technology inventions needed to combat climate change – report

By: Christy van der Merwe     8th July 2009 The fight against climate change would not be won unless a “revolution” in the use of existing low-carbon technology, and numerous new inventions took hold, said the Global Climate Network (GCN) in its report released on Wednesday. Entitled ‘Breaking through on technology’, the report was... 

The production of biofuels could 
adversely affect water supply

By: Leandi Kolver     3rd July 2009 American scientists, in a recently released report, are cautioning that water consumption and agrochemical use during biofuels production can have an adverse impact on both the availability and quality of water resources. 

SA’s emission reduction plan lacks action – WWF  

By: Christy van der Merwe     1st July 2009 While South Africa had commendable greenhouse gas (GHG) emission reduction targets, and played a positive role in international climate change negotiations, implementation and action on the ground was said to be lacking. “South Africa has the most comprehensive plan … on how we can reduce our... 

WWF urges G8 summit to take action on climate change

By: Christy van der Merwe     1st July 2009 As the Group of Eight (G8) countries prepare for the G8 summit in Italy next week, the Worldwide Fund for Nature (WWF) has urged leaders to put meaningful climate change action at the top of the agenda, and issued the top industrialised nations with their ‘climate change scorecards’. Issues on... 

Opening up trade could have a positive impact on greenhouse gas emissions – report 

By: Creamer Media Reporter      26th June 2009 Opening up trade and combating climate change could be mutually supportive towards realising a low-carbon economy, a report published by the World Trade Organisation (WTO) in collaboration with the United Nations Environmental Programme (Unep) stated on Friday. Examining the implications of... 

R700m bulk water pipeline project gets under way in KZN

By: Margie Inggs     26th June 2009 In one of the biggest capital projects it has ever undertaken, the eThekwini municipality’s water and sanitation unit has started work on a R700-million bulk water supply pipeline project that has been designed to boost supply to Durban’s western and northern areas, where unprecedented growth has... 

Separate tariffs may be required for large- and small-scale PV installations

By: Leandi Kolver     26th June 2009 In order to establish a functioning renewable energy feed-in tariff (Refit) for South Africa, Camco director Jonathan Curren suggests in the Socio-Economic Impacts and Regulatory Framework Requirements for a Solar PV Feed-in Tariff in South Africa study that two feed-in tariffs be established;... 

The case for including photovoltaics and biomass into South Africa’s feed-in-tariff system

By: Leandi Kolver     26th June 2009 In March, the National Energy Regulator of South Africa (Nersa) announced and approved the landmark renewable energy feed-in tariff (Refit) guidelines, which included five renewable energy technologies, and drew praise from many ‘green lobbyists’ and potential investors. 

'Green Drop' report to be 
released next month

By: Dennis Ndaba     26th June 2009 The Department of Water and Environmental Affairs (DWEA) will be releasing the Green Drop report next month. 

Levy on nonrenewable electricity to become effective July 1 

By: Christy van der Merwe     25th June 2009 The 2c/kWh tax on electricity generated from non-renewable resources would be implemented starting July 1. The tax, which was first suggested in the 2008 Budget by the Minister of Finance at the time, Trevor Manuel, was initially delayed, but would now come into effect, confirmed National... 

Industrial giant shows 
greenhouse gas leadership

By: Leandi Kolver     12th June 2009 Diversified global infrastructure, finance and media company GE has surpassed its first ‘ecomagination’ goal to reduce its own greenhouse gas intensity. 

KZN hopes to highlight waste-management progress and challenges through awards

By: Leandi Kolver     12th June 2009 The Institute of Waste Management of Southern Africa (IWMSA) in conjunction with the KwaZulu-Natal (KZN) Department of Agriculture and Environmental Affairs are calling on all waste management organisations in KZN to enter their annual Waste Management Awards. 

Paper group to team up with 
street collectors for recycling cause

By: Leandi Kolver     12th June 2009 It is estimated that approximately 1,9-million tons of recovered fibre is available for collection and recycling in South Africa every year. Every box that is recycled reduces wastepaper going to landfill sites and, at the same time, creates jobs. 

Metrofile sees both environmental and business virtue in recycling

By: Leandi Kolver     12th June 2009 The Paper Recycling Association of South Africa estimates that, for every ton of paper recycled, three square metres of landfill space is saved, 17 trees are put to other uses, coal-based emissions are cut down by a ton of carbon dioxide and enough energy is saved yearly to provide 520 homes with... 

There are financial gains to be had from 
greening the supply chain, says expert

By: Leandi Kolver     12th June 2009 Whether Al Gore’s documentary ‘An Inconvenient Truth‘ struck a cord with you, or whether your pet hate is the abandoned paper at the printer, then there is a burning topic that needs to be discussed to get South African businesses going green. 

Lack of finance-package progress in climate talks a worry

By: Christy van der Merwe     11th June 2009 South Africa’s Environmental Affairs DG Joanne Yawitch – who spoke with Engineering News Online from the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) negotiations in Bonn, Germany – said on Thursday that she was confident that “we will come out of Copenhagen with an architecture... 

Sonjica says work on draft climate change policy continuing

By: Christy van der Merwe     5th June 2009 As World Environment Day was observed on Friday, South Africa’s Minister of Water and Environmental Affairs Buyelwa Sonjica said that work on the country’s draft climate change policy continued. Work on the draft policy began in March this year, following intense deliberations at the Climate... 

Airports company to launch study into carbon footprint

By: Esmarie Iannucci     5th June 2009 The Airports Company South Africa (Acsa) would launch a study into its carbon footprint, by the second quarter of this financial year, the company said on Friday. Speaking at an environmental stakeholder breakfast, Acsa head of environmental safety Musa Dlamini said that the carbon footprint... 

AfDB invests R100m into clean-energy private equity fund

By: Creamer Media Reporter      2nd June 2009 The African Development Bank (AfDB) has approved a R100-million equity investment in the Evolution One Fund, the first Southern Africa-focused private equity fund specialising in the areas of clean-energy and sustainable technologies.  

WWF to assess SA’s transition to low-carbon economy 

By: Christy van der Merwe     1st June 2009 South Africa’s World Wildlife Fund for Nature (WWF) is hoping to initiate discussions, and possibly also commission some analytical work, on what the constraints and opportunities for the country’s transition to low-carbon economy are. “There are a lot of outstanding questions. We can talk very... 

UNFCCC chief stresses importance of Copenhagen climate change pact 

By: Creamer Media Reporter      26th May 2009 United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) secretary general Yvo de Boer on Tuesday said that failure to reach agreement on climate change policy at the Copenhagen summit in December would result in future generations living in a world that was “extremely turbulent and... 

Green building becoming a mainstream global norm – council

By: Christy van der Merwe     26th May 2009 Globally, during construction and life-cycle, buildings consumed between 40% and 50% of the world’s energy produced, about 30% of resources, 20% of available water, and emit about 23% of the world’s greenhouse gas emissions – more than any other single sector. Buildings also produced about 30%... 

Office developers clamber for green-building accreditation, despite the crisis and higher costs

By: Christy van der Merwe     22nd May 2009 Although there is no Green Star SA rated and certified property development in South Africa as yet, all the signs point to a built-environment industry that is beginning to take up the challenge of environmentally sound development, and one that is increasingly willing to transform. 

Businesses could cut emissions by switching off idle PCs

By: Christy van der Merwe     21st May 2009 Information Technology (IT) was said to account for 2% of global energy demand, and because a single Personal Computer (PC) running continuously could use in excess of 1 000 kWh/y, South African business could cut costs and associated carbon-dioxide emissions by implementing efficiencies. Of... 

Midrand’s Zonk’izizwe Town Center chosen as climate-positive project 

By: Christy van der Merwe     20th May 2009 The multi-billion Zonk’izizwe Town Center, an Old Mutual Property Investment’s mixed-use development in Midrand, was chosen as one of 16 founding projects of the Climate Positive Development Programme (CPDP). The programme was a Clinton Climate Initiative (CCI) programme supporting the... 

Climate Group switches to telepresence system for international meetings 

By: Christy van der Merwe     20th May 2009 Telepresence, video and voice communications company Polycom and international nonprofit organisation the Climate Group on Wednesday announced an initiative using technology to advance climate change solutions. The initiative works to advance climate change solutions and accelerate a low-carbon... 

Conditions increasingly favourable in SA for IPPs, despite frustrations

By: Terence Creamer     19th May 2009 Despite a definite air of frustration among potential South African independent power producers (IPPs), many of which have had their project plans set back by a series of regulatory and Eskom tender delays, international engineering consultancy Hatch believes that the prospects for IPP projects... 

WTO head calls for common vision on agricultural trade policy

By: Christy van der Merwe     12th May 2009 World Trade Organisation (WTO) DG Pascal Lamy has urged members to agree on a common vision for agricultural trade policy. However, he did maintain that the progress made, to date, has been important, despite the absence of a shared vision on agricultural trade policy. 

Lesotho efficient light bulb facility opens

By: Christy van der Merwe     8th May 2009 Lighting manufacturer Phillips says that it’s compact fluorescent lamp (CFL) manufacturing facility built in Lesotho, was opened in March this year. 

LOC to unveil Green Goal 2010 strategy in ‘weeks’, says Jordaan

By: Christy van der Merwe     7th May 2009 The FIFA 2010 World Cup Local Organising Committee (LOC) would unveil its national ‘Green Goal’ strategy in a “few weeks” confirmed LOC CEO Danny Jordaan. Speaking at the launch of the 2010 Sustainability Awards (an Impumulelo project in conjunction with the Konrad Adenauer Stiftung foundation),... 

CDM achievements ‘far outweigh’ difficulties and flaws – Unctad  

By: Christy van der Merwe     5th May 2009 A panel of climate experts, economists, and government officials have noted the difficulties, and discussed ways on how to increase participation by developing countries in the Clean Development Mechanism (CDM). At a three-day United Nations Conference on Trade And Development (Unctad) meeting... 

SA, Uganda agree to further develop science and technology cooperation

By: Keith Campbell     1st May 2009 SOUTH Africa and Uganda are seeking to develop their scientific and technological cooperation in number of important fields, including biosciences, environmental sciences, satellite applications, and energy research. The two countries are already partners in a number of international scientific... 

Cleantech approach to business continues to face impediments

By: Christopher Clarke     1st May 2009 A key factor in the expansion and economic success of new cleantech enterprises in South Africa, and globally for that matter, pertains to the demystification of cleantech as a business model. 

Green building council to start work on Green Star SA retail rating tool

By: Christy van der Merwe     28th April 2009 The Green Building Council of South Africa (GBCSA) on Tuesday said it was looking for members to form a technical working group, which would work on the development of the Green Star South Africa retail rating tool. This would follow the model of the already established rating tool for office... 

Global regulatory changes to affect industrial packaging industry

By: Leandi Kolver     10th April 2009 A number of regulatory changes has been made by the United Nations (UN) regarding the transport of dangerous goods and the globally harmonised system of classification and labelling of chemicals, which will affect the entire industrial packaging industry. 


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