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Environmental News

Global citrus demand increases refrigeration demand

By: Halima Frost     17th September 2021 A global increase in demand for South African-grown citrus, as well as more export regulations, has resulted in a substantial increase in demand for refrigeration capacity, says local refrigeration manufacturer EP Refrigeration business development head Dawie Kriel. “We not only need to add... 

Commercial property without carbon emission reduction plans will soon decrease in value – report

By: Simone Liedtke     16th September 2021 Commercial property without plans to slash carbon emissions will soon plummet in value, warns new real estate stock exchange IPSX and sustainability data and consulting firm Carbon Intelligence in a joint report on net-zero initiatives for UK commercial property market valuations. Its findings... 

Harvesting water from atmosphere posited as a solution to enhance water security

By: Donna Slater     16th September 2021 Technology used to extract water from the Earth’s atmosphere, otherwise known as atmospheric water generating (AWG), may be a solution that can be easily scaled to mitigate current and future water scarcity issues in South Africa and globally, Sustainbale Operations Group (SOG) Water Solutions... 

Polyco launches municipal-focused recycling strategy

By: Simone Liedtke     15th September 2021 Producer responsibility organisation (PRO) for the plastic industry Polyco is launching a municipal-focused recycling strategy, aimed at drastically improving the country’s recycling rates. To implement this “first of its kind” strategy, Polyco on September 15 said it would work with... 

FirstRand to end funding for new coal mines, power plants

By: Reuters     15th September 2021 South Africa's FirstRand will end funding for new coal-fired power stations and coal mines and has lowered the cap on its coal exposure as part of moves to reach net-zero emissions by 2050, it said on Wednesday. South Africa's banks are the biggest on the continent, with the likes of FirstRand... 

Net-zero goal could be new ‘shared vision that binds’ South Africa 

By: Terence Creamer     14th September 2021 A just transition towards net-zero carbon emissions by 2050 offers significant opportunities for a new growth path built on green industrialisation and could provide the anchor for a new “shared vision that binds us”, former Deputy Finance Minister and State Capture whistle-blower Mcebisi Jonas... 

Photo of Mcebisi Jonas
Photo by Creamer Media
Mcebisi Jonas

Solar-powered 4x4s are totally transforming safaris

By: Bloomberg     14th September 2021 For Sipps Maswanganyi, a safari guide with 20 years of experience in the African bush, it was one memorable sighting that sold him on electric safari vehicles. “I could hear this buffalo panting heavily deep in the bushes,” recalls Maswanganyi, head guide at Cheetah Plains, a luxury outfit in... 

Africa set to become global climate migration ‘hotspot’ 

By: Terence Creamer     13th September 2021 A new World Bank report warns that sub-Saharan African could make up 86-million of the world’s 216-million climate migrants by 2050, while North Africa could have the largest share of internal climate migrants relative to total population. Titled ‘Groundswell’, the report updates and expands on... 

Photo of dry earth

Bids sought for socioeconomic study into Eskom’s coal repowering and repurposing plan 

By: Terence Creamer     13th September 2021 A global coalition set up to support countries in implementing the carbon-reduction pledges contained in their Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs) has announced that it will fund a study to assess the socioeconomic impacts of the shutdown, repowering and repurposing of seven Eskom... 

Photo of a road to an Eskom power station
Photo by Creamer Media
Eskom to shut 11 000 MW of coal capacity by 2030

ABB, MEDATech to jointly explore decarbonisation solutions

By: Simone Liedtke     10th September 2021 Automation company ABB has signed a memorandum of understanding with Canadian engineering consultancy MEDATech to jointly explore solutions to decarbonise mining operations through charging solutions and optimised electric drive systems in battery electric vehicles (BEVs) for heavy-duty... 

SA Plastics Pact publishes first list of problematic, unnecessary plastics to be phased out 

By: Simone Liedtke     9th September 2021 The South African (SA) Plastics Pact members have published a first list of problematic or unnecessary plastics for phasing out this year and next. The SA Plastics Pact is a collaborative pre-competitive initiative that brings together key stakeholders from the local plastics value chain,... 

New trade idea for South Africa is debt relief for climate goals

By: Bloomberg     9th September 2021 Politicians and academics are turning their attention to a new trade pitch for South Africa: debt relief in exchange for progress toward global climate goals. The debt-for-climate concept, which was floated by International Monetary Fund MD Kristalina Georgieva in April, has been picked up by... 

South Africa’s green hydrogen ‘first mover’ opportunity based on three structural advantages  

By: Terence Creamer     8th September 2021 South Africa has three favourable structural characteristics that potentially give it a “first mover advantage” to become a global green-hydrogen leader, Sasol CEO Fleetwood Grobler argued in his address during a ‘Hydrogen Economy Discussion’ facilitated by well-known mining personality Bernard... 

Sasol CEO Fleetwood Grobler
Sasol CEO Fleetwood Grobler

Absa achieves compliance with new building energy performance requirements

By: Simone Liedtke     8th September 2021 Financial services provider Absa is the first bank to achieve compliance with the country’s new building energy performance regulations, the South African National Energy Development Institute (SANEDI) reports. In December 2020, the Department of Mineral Resources and Energy (DMRE) gazetted... 

World's largest plant capturing carbon from air starts in Iceland

By: Reuters     8th September 2021 The world's largest plant that sucks carbon dioxide directly from the air and deposits it underground is due to start operating on Wednesday, the company behind the nascent green technology said. Swiss start-up Climeworks, which specialises in capturing carbon dioxide directly from the air, has... 

Masondo raises R146bn South Africa debt forgiveness 

By: Bloomberg     7th September 2021 David Masondo, South Africa’s deputy finance minister, suggested that investors forgive about R146-billion of sovereign debt in exchange for the national power utility meeting climate targets. In order to transition from the use of coal to generate electricity to renewable energy Eskom Holdings... 

South Africa’s updated NDC climate pledge to be released ‘very soon’ 

By: Terence Creamer     7th September 2021 Forestry, Fisheries and the Environment Minister Barbara Creecy reported on Tuesday that South Africa’s revised Nationally Determined Contribution (NDC), which is to be deposited with the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change later this year, is close to being finalised and will... 

Forestry, Fisheries and Environment Minister Barbara Creecy
Photo by Creamer Media's Donna Slater
Forestry, Fisheries and Environment Minister Barbara Creecy

Societal cost of plastic produced in 2019 amounts to £3.7tr – WWF

By: Tasneem Bulbulia     6th September 2021 The lifetime cost to society, the environment and the economy of plastic produced in 2019 alone has been determined at $3.7-trillion, more than the gross domestic product (GDP) of India, a new report by global consulting firm Dalberg, commissioned by non-governmental organisation the World Wide... 

Sasol, UCT confirm progress on catalysts that convert hydrogen, CO2 into green jet fuel 

By: Terence Creamer     6th September 2021 Energy and chemicals group Sasol, which aims to become a leader in South Africa’s promising green hydrogen industry, reports that research advancements have been achieved that are supportive of the conversion of hydrogen and carbon dioxide (CO2) into green jet fuel and chemicals. Made in... 

Photo of research under way at Sasol Research & Technology

PwC Africa announces focus areas as part of global strategy

By: Schalk Burger     3rd September 2021 Advisory services multinational PwC Africa has announced its six focus areas to support the group's global New Equation strategy, which aims to deliver sustained outcomes for its clients. PwC Africa’s six key focus areas are trust; growth and value creation; environmental, social and governance... 

Polymer plastic waste management among the challenges facing African recyclers

By: Simone Liedtke     3rd September 2021 Waste management is one of the biggest challenges faced by the African recycled polymer supply chain and the continent’s waste management challenges urgently need to be dealt with, says Independent Commodity Intelligence Servcies (ICIS) plastic recycling analyst Carolina Holland. In an insight... 

CLAB Africa initiative aims to raise African climate, biodiversity science voices on national, international stages

By: Schalk Burger     2nd September 2021 The Climate, Land, Agriculture and Biodiversity (CLAB) Africa project is making progress towards its aim to leverage the grassroots insights of African scientists to inform policies and drive climate change, biodiversity and food and water security actions within nations, as well as to provide... 

Environmental organisations concerned about government no-show at plastics treaty meeting

By: Donna Slater     2nd September 2021 Environment advocacy organisations Greenpeace Africa, groundWork and the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF) have expressed deep concerns that the South African government did not participate in a Ministerial meeting on a proposed global plastics treaty held this month. This shows, the... 

RMB launches ESG-risk-measuring platforms to support sustainable investing

By: Donna Slater     2nd September 2021 Financial services provider Rand Merchant Bank (RMB), a division of FirstRand Bank, has launched environmental, social and governance- (ESG-) measuring platforms – ESGo! and ESGNow. The platforms are envisaged to drive sustainable finance by offering client interfaces that enable more informed... 

Public Works to release RFI in development of green energy, resource efficiency drive 

By: Donna Slater     2nd September 2021 The Department of Public Works and Infrastructure (DPWI) plans to release a request for information (RFI) for the Integrated Renewable Energy and Resource Efficiency Programme (iREREP) on September 20, to garner ideas and information into ways to deliver mutual value through strong partnerships... 

An image of the Mpumalanga High Court
The Mpumalanga High Court, which the DPWI handed over in November 2019, is an example of a building where energy and water saving technologies could be rolled out

Study confirms low enviro impact dairy farming equals higher profitability

By: Marleny Arnoldi     1st September 2021 Agricultural sustainability company Trace & Save has reaffirmed in a case study that a lower environmental impact is directly linked with higher profitability in the South African dairy farming industry. The company, in partnership with Nedbank and the World Wide Fund for Nature South Africa... 

Milk bottles

WWF SA launches four-year project to link civil society, drive national climate action

By: Schalk Burger     31st August 2021 The World Wide Fund for Nature South Africa (WWF SA), the South African Climate Action Network (SACAN) and the Institute for Economic Justice (IEJ) will work closely with environmental and social civil society organisations (CSOs) to build a strong community, including a cohort of youth climate... 

Litter spills onto Cape Town beach as heavy rain causes breach at old landfill site

By: News24Wire      31st August 2021 Heavy rain over the weekend has caused dunes at a decommissioned landfill site to shift, spilling litter onto the beach at Witsand in Cape Town. City of Cape Town Mayco Member for Water and Waste Xanthea Limberg said the recent heavy rainfall caused the mobile dunes, which covered the waste, to... 

Eskom considers R106bn in wind and solar investment by 2030

By: Bloomberg     30th August 2021 Eskom Holdings, which supplies almost all South Africa’s electricity from coal-fired power plants, is considering spending R106-billion on wind and solar energy by 2030. The investment plan, which Eskom could carry out by itself or in partnerships, is the most detailed demonstration yet of the... 

An image of wind turbines

Russian iron-ore miner urges industry to pursue cleaner operations

By: Marleny Arnoldi     30th August 2021 The current trend in reducing carbon dioxide emissions in ferrous metallurgy will become clear with the transition from blast furnace production to the metallisation process in steel production, and with the use of direct reduced iron (DRI) and hot briquetted iron (HBI), says iron-ore and HBI... 

Greenpeace lauds demise of leaded petrol

By: Marleny Arnoldi     30th August 2021 The United Nations Environment Programme has announced the official end of leaded petrol, as of August 30. Environmental organisation Greenpeace Africa says this global achievement comes after a refinery in Algeria phased out of the toxic additive. The refinery was the last in the world to use... 

Vox launches weather channel

By: Natasha Odendaal     27th August 2021 Vox has launched an interactive weather channel with meteorologist Annette Botha to deliver informative, educational and credible weather analysis. Amid increasing adverse weather events and a global movement to deal with the climate crisis, Vox Weather aims to provide top-tier credible forecasts... 

Polyco now a ‘one stop shop’ for collection, recycling of polymer plastics

By: Simone Liedtke     27th August 2021 In response to recently introduced waste management regulations, the Polyolefin Responsibility Organisation (Polyco) has decided to broaden its focus to all plastic types under extended producer responsibility (EPR) regulations. This decision has been made to increase its support to producers to... 

De Beers, National Geographic launch landmark partnership to protect Okavango Delta

By: Simone Liedtke     27th August 2021 International diamond miner De Beers and magazine National Geographic have launched the Okavango Eternal, a landmark partnership to protect the source waters of the Okavango Delta and the lives and livelihoods they support. The five-year commitment represents critical inward investment in... 

As Mpumalanga towns plot future beyond coal, workers express pain over mine closures 

By: Terence Creamer     27th August 2021 The Steve Tshwete local municipality, in Mpumalanga, which is at the epicentre of South Africa’s coal industry, is revising its Local Economic Development (LED) strategy to take account of the anticipated closure of coal mines and power stations and create the framework for a more diversified... 

The Komati coal-fired power station, which will be fully decommissioned in 2022
The Komati coal-fired power station, which will be fully decommissioned in 2022

The importance of organisational culture in supporting women

27th August 2021 Project developer G7 Renewable Energies head of development Karen de Bruyn has spoken about the importance of organisational culture in supporting careers for women in previously male dominated sectors. 

An image of Karen de Bruyn the head of development at G7 Renewable Energies
KAREN DE BRUYN The global renewable energy revolution has set in motion new opportunities for women to contribute to the engineering sector

Fully developed legislation needed

By: Nadine Ramdass     27th August 2021 The legislation has not caught up with where the gas industry needs it to be, says gas producer Renergen CEO and MD Stefano Marani. Technical aspects that are critical to companies’ decision-making have not yet been addressed, with industries in the gas sector consequently unable to develop to... 

An image of gas extraction at Renergen's Virginia Gas project
GAS EXTRACTION Renergen is the only onshore petroleum rights holder in South Africa
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