SA Coal Industry Urged to Develop Emission Mitigation Strategy


"potential emission reduction targets. . .could impact on South Africa's ability to export"

Role players in the South African coal sector should work together to form an industry greenhouse gas (GHG) emission mitigation strategy, as this would be a more cost effective approach, said Imbewu sustainability legal specialists associate Marie Parramon.

Speaking at the Fossil Fuel Foundation's future challenges in an evolving carbon-constrained world economy conference on Tuesday, Parramon also noted that regulations were being developed for mandatory GHG emission inventories.

She added that companies should start quantifying their GHG emissions inventory immediately, as this would make it easier, in future, when inventories became a legal obligation.

Parramon gave the example of the wine industry in South Africa, which worked together on a GHG mitigation strategy, as the sector came under pressure from export markets, which required transparency related to GHG emissions, and action in terms of reducing emissions.

Department of Environmental Affairs chief director and energy adviser Mark Gordon concurred, adding that most sectors would require a multiple benefits strategic planning approach, going forward.

South Africa exports some 60-million tons a year of coal, mainly to markets in Europe. Decisions made at the global climate change conference in Copenhagen in December, and potential emission reduction targets taken on by developed nations there, could impact on South Africa's ability to export, as there could be implications on the demand for fossil fuels from developed countries.

Parramon also highlighted that South Africa's national climate change draft policy would be released for comment by the end of March, and urged companies to ensure that their legal teams engage with the draft policy, as it would have regulatory and fiscal implications for companies from 2012.

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