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Environmental News

Implications of the latest IPCC report for South Africa  

26th August 2021 Creamer Media's Chanel de Bruyn speaks to Engineering News Editor Terence Creamer about warnings by South African climate scientists about the implications of the latest Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) report for the country, as well as the possibility of a day-zero drought in... 

UPL spill investigation to be complete next month

By: Simone Liedtke     26th August 2021 The final report into the chemical spill at the United Phosphorus Limited (UPL) warehouse in Cornubia, KwaZulu-Natal, in July, is expected to be completed by the end of September. The multi-departmental investigative team which was set up to investigate the incident has nearly finalised a... 

South Africa's GHG emissions increased by 10.4% between 2000 and 2017

By: Schalk Burger     25th August 2021 South Africa’s seventh 'National Greenhouse-Gas (GHG) Inventory' report for 2000 to 2017, released on August 24, shows that emissions have increased by 10.4% over the 17-year period. The report, published by the  Department of Forestry, Fisheries and the Environment (DFFE), covers sources of GHG... 

Failure to heed warnings about a disease like Covid-19 a bigger risk than the disease itself – Whitfield

By: Donna Slater     24th August 2021 The major risk posed by Covid-19 is not the disease itself, but instead humankind’s inaction to heed calls that such an event could lead to the crippling of global economies and other systems, independent broadcaster, journalist and writer Bruce Whitfield said on August 24. He gave the keynote... 

Biodiversity can serve as nucleus for enabling sustainable development at peace with nature

By: Schalk Burger     24th August 2021 A focus on biodiversity can serve as the nucleus to implement the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), as biodiversity looks at people, prosperity and a healthy planet through effective partnerships, says United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) South Africa resident... 

Google, SEforAll emphasise need for electricity to become decarbonised ‘even faster’

By: Simone Liedtke     24th August 2021 To achieve net-zero emissions across the global economy by 2050, electricity must become the core of the energy system and be decarbonised even faster, while expanding to meet the increasing demands of millions of people who still lack adequate access to electricity, says multinational specialist... 

SANEDI develops new strategic plan to address modern energy issues

By: Donna Slater     23rd August 2021 Various challenges in the South African energy sector must be addressed for wider socioeconomic advancement – for which the South African National Energy Development Institute (SANEDI) has developed a new strategic plan, positioning it to address key energy sector issues. SANEDI interim CEO... 

UJ joins SA Plastics Pact as supporting member

By: Schalk Burger     23rd August 2021 The University of Johannesburg (UJ) has joined the South African (SA) Plastics Pact as a supporting member. The SA Plastics Pact tackles the plastic waste challenge along the value chain in South Africa to increase sustainable practices and circularity. The pact members aim to accelerate the move... 

South Africa aims to bring pilot carbon capture project online in 2023 

By: Reuters     23rd August 2021 South Africa has started geological mapping at the country's first carbon capture and storage (CCS) site, where it plans to inject vast quantities of carbon dioxide (CO2) deep underground from 2023, a senior Council for Geoscience official said. The project will be based around the town of... 

World leaders out of excuses on climate change, Thunberg, youth activists say

By: Reuters     20th August 2021 The world's children cannot afford more empty promises at this year's United Nations Climate Change Conference, youth activists including Greta Thunberg said, after a United Nations report found virtually no child will escape the impact of global warming. In the first index of its kind, published... 

A Drought owing to Climate Change

Dust ramifications awareness needed

By: Khutso Maphatsoe     20th August 2021 "People should be aware of the ramifications of being exposed to dangerous fumes, chemicals and dust and the damage caused to mining and construction equipment by dust and other contaminants," says Trysome Auto Electrical Engineering key account manager Johan Momberg. The focus should be on... 

Picture of an excavator loading rubble into a dumb truck
COMBINED EFFORT Equipment or site owners should work together with solution providers to ensure that workers and equipment are protected

Compliance solutions for foundries offered

By: Khutso Maphatsoe     20th August 2021 Air pollution engineering solutions company About Air Pollution offers the foundry industry solutions that ensure emission regulatory compliance. “About Air Pollution is a respected supplier of equipment to ensure the ongoing successful application for an air emissions licence,” About Air... 

Company to release wearable personal dust-monitoring device

By: Khutso Maphatsoe     20th August 2021 Safety equipment supplier Trolex released its new XD One wearable, self-contained personal dust-monitoring device to the market in the second quarter of 2021. The technology used in the XD One ensures that the monitor delivers continuous, real-time detection of harmful particulates often present... 

 Picture of a dust monitoring device
FLASHING LIGHTS The monitor will start to flash and beep when particulates reach a dangerous level and an area needs to be evacuated.

Indoor air monitors provide healthy environment

20th August 2021 Electrical and digital building infrastructures specialist Legrand’s Netatmo smart systems comprise indoor air quality monitors, which are easy to install, configure and manage. Owing to the Covid-19 pandemic everyone is more aware of the importance of maintaining a healthy home environment. 

Gauteng ‘day-zero drought’ is South Africa’s biggest near-term climate risk, IPCC scientist warns 

By: Terence Creamer     19th August 2021 A leading South African climate scientist believes a ‘Gauteng day-zero drought’ represents the biggest near-term climate change risk faced by the country, which is poised to become hotter and drier as average global temperatures rise. Francois Engelbrecht, who is a distinguished professor of... 

An image of a drought stricken landscape

Stakeholders urge Creecy to uphold Karpowership EIA refusal decision

By: Simone Liedtke     19th August 2021 Small-scale fishers from the West Coast and other stakeholders have commended the Department of Forestry, Fisheries, and the Environment (DFFE) for its decision to refuse to grant Karpowership South Africa environmental authoristions for three proposed floating power plants (FPPs). The fishers... 

Greenpeace Africa demands that United Phosphorous be held accountable for chemical spill

By: Simone Liedtke     18th August 2021 Greenpeace Africa volunteers have launched a petition to demand accountability from chemicals company United Phosphorus following a chemical spill in Cornubia, in KwaZulu-Natal, in July. United Phosphorus was storing chemicals in a warehouse, which was damaged and set alight during the July... 

Consultancy launches South Africa’s first carbon credit programme for the agri-sector

By: Marleny Arnoldi     18th August 2021 South Africa has launched its first internationally recognised carbon offset programme for the agricultural sector. Environmental consultant Climate Neutral Group (CNG), which successfully listed the programme under the Verra Carbon Standard, on August 18 advised that farmers practicing... 

Emissions ‘unavoidable’ even if cleanest coal generation technology is used – report

By: Simone Liedtke     18th August 2021 Dr Ranajit Sahu, an engineer with more than three decades of experience in power plant design, has found that large quantities of greenhouse-gas (GHG) emissions are “unavoidable”, even if the cleanest available technology is used for new coal-fired power generation. South Africa’s Integrated... 

Committee pleased Sasol is complying with air-quality obligations, Eskom lagging

By: Tasneem Bulbulia     18th August 2021 The Portfolio Committee on Forestry, Fisheries and the Environment says it is generally satisfied with the compliance of chemicals company Sasol with its obligations on air quality; however, State-owned power utility Eskom is not complying with its obligations owing to delays encountered in its... 

De Ruyter outlines green reindustrialisation vision for South Africa 

By: Terence Creamer     18th August 2021 Eskom CEO Andre de Ruyter has outlined the case for leveraging South Africa’s transition to green energy to reverse the country’s “vicious cycle of deindustrialisation and unemployment” and to trigger a “virtuous cycle of local demand for local goods to create investment and jobs”. Delivering the... 

Eskom CEO Andre de Ruyter
Photo by Creamer Media's Donna Slater
Eskom CEO Andre de Ruyter

Most miners are falling short of carbon cuts needed for UN goal

By: Bloomberg     18th August 2021 The mining industry is falling short on cutting greenhouse-gas emissions enough to limit global warming, even after stepping up efforts to help combat climate change. Only 11 out of 46 metal and mining companies analysed by Bloomberg Intelligence have carbon-reduction targets that match levels... 

Deforestation avoidance and carbon offset monitoring project to launch in Cameroon

By: Schalk Burger     17th August 2021 Carbon storage monitoring startup Albo Climate and hydropower company subsidiary Tembo Climate have signed a deal to produce a high-resolution carbon monitoring model of vulnerable tropical forests in several sub-Saharan African countries. The maps will be used to carefully evaluate ecosystem... 

FNB launches three new exchange-traded notes focused on sustainability

By: Simone Liedtke     17th August 2021 FNB this week launched three new exchange-traded notes (ETNs) as it continues to expand its solutions offering to help more customers invest and save. The new investment instruments augment the highly popular range of ETNs that were launched by FNB late in 2020, which the financial services... 

Prevalence of fire weather risks on the rise, says expert 

By: Marleny Arnoldi     17th August 2021 As climate change is causing various regions around the world to experience longer periods of droughts and general changes in humidity and wind levels, it increases the risk for sporadic wildfires. Climate change has affected the number and intensity of fires worldwide, confirms global weather... 

DTN weather operations VP Renny Vandewege
DTN weather operations VP Renny Vandewege unpacks the increasing risk for sporadic wildfires globally

Sasol’s new 2030 and 2050 decarbonisation targets to be ‘substantially higher’ 

By: Terence Creamer     16th August 2021 South Africa’s carbon-heavy fuels and chemicals group Sasol is poised to announce a “substantially higher” target for the reduction of its greenhouse-gas emissions following an intensive period of financial and organisational restructuring during its 2021 financial year. The JSE-listed group took... 

Photo of Sasol CEO Fleetwood Grobler
Photo by Creamer Media's Donna Slater
Sasol CEO Fleetwood Grobler

Not viable for South Africa to invest in li-ion battery recycling

By: Marleny Arnoldi     16th August 2021 A recent study undertaken by mineral processing expert Mintek has confirmed that there is no viable business case for South Africa to invest in lithium-ion (li-ion) battery recycling. Mintek bio-metallurgy manager Mariekie Gericke spoke during the Battery Technology conference on August 13... 

Lithium-ion batteries
Photo by Reuters
Lithium-ion batteries

Report shows climate opportunities and gaps for South Africa

By: Schalk Burger     13th August 2021 Findings from the second 'State of Climate Science and Technology in South Africa' report, compiled by the Academy of Science of South Africa (ASSAf), include that the country is well positioned to play a key role in the Global Commission on Adaptation to advance climate change adaptation... 

Australian miners accelerate green investment amid net-zero flurry

By: Esmarie Iannucci     13th August 2021 With the rise of environmental activism and greater investor interest in environmental and social governance, Australian miners and the Australian government have started to give greater priority to emission reduction schemes and environmental investments. The federal government in 2020... 

Image of Engineering News and Mining Weekly cover

Sixth IPCC climate assessment important for international climate policy – DFFE

By: Schalk Burger     11th August 2021 The sixth assessment by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) is an important contribution to enhancing scientific understanding on climate change that must inform international policy at the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) Conference of the Parties... 

Fortress REIT launches R900m sustainability-linked bonds

By: Tasneem Bulbulia     10th August 2021 JSE-listed real estate investment trust (Reit) Fortress Reit has launched R900-million in sustainability-linked bonds, aligned to its ongoing strategic environmental, social and governance plan to scale up its renewable energy generation for its own use and potentially also for sale to the grid... 

High level of available food supply in South Africa wasted, CSIR study shows

By: Tasneem Bulbulia     10th August 2021 The findings of a recently released study from scientific and technology research, development and implementation organisation the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) shows that an estimated 10.3-million tonnes a year of edible food, earmarked for human consumption in South... 

Major new climate report puts pressure on COP26 to ‘consign coal to history’

By: Bloomberg     9th August 2021 A landmark report by climate change scientists released Monday is expected to ratchet up the pressure on world leaders to rapidly end the use of polluting fossil fuels. Some of the most important readers of the 3 949-page report by the United Nations-backed Intergovernmental Panel on Climate... 

A coal-fired power station owned and operated by South African power utility Eskom

Partnership notes first new chemicals success

6th August 2021 The partnership between carbon recycling technology company LanzaTech and multinational chemicals company BASF, who together aim to transform the carbon contained in industrial off-gases into valuable chemicals, has achieved a key first success. The companies announced in May that, with the help... 

An image of a LanzaTech installation capturing off gasses
ON-GASSES A key first success has been achieved by LanzaTech and BASF in using off gasses or emissions for a positive product

Petrochem giant uses tech for greener fuel

By: Halima Frost     6th August 2021 In April JSE-listed synthetic fuels and chemicals company Sasol announced it will work alongside a consortium comprising multinational chemical company Linde, renewable energy company Enertrag and investment company Navitas Holdings to bid in concept for the production of sustainable aviation... 

An image of a Sasol Chemicals plant
COOL COLAB The collaboration between Sasol and the LEN Consortium will see greener jet fuel and chemicals being produced using Sasol's Fischer-Tropsch technology

PwC report highlights need for increased focus on diversity, inclusion and ESG

By: Donna Slater     5th August 2021 Professional services firm PwC’s ‘Executive directors’ practices and remuneration trends’ report, released on August 5, finds that companies’ journeys to what it says is “fair pay” requires them to embrace inclusivity and diversity, as well as an internal culture of belonging. In defining what... 

Trading remains positive for Mondi as macroeconomic uncertainties remain

By: Simone Liedtke     5th August 2021 While macroeconomic uncertainties remain, trading is positive for paper and packaging manufacturer Mondi, which expects to see the full impact of the price increases implemented to date and the continued contribution from its capital investment projects during the second half of this year. 

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