South African mandatory GHG reporting system to be implemented in 2014

Urban Earth 14 June 2013.

he Department of Environmental Affairs (DEA) expects to implement a mandatory greenhouse gas (GHG) reporting system in South Africa in 2014 says Jongikhaya Witi, Director of the Climate Change Monitoring & Evaluation Unit at the DEA.

According to the National Climate Change Response White Paper companies and entities that emit more than 100,000 tonnes of GHGs annually or that consume electricity that results in more than 100,000 tonnes of emissions from the electricity sector will be required to report on their GHG emissions in the new system…


DEA’s green building gets six stars

Engineering News 4 June 2013.

The Department of Environmental Affairs’ (DEA’s) new head office, in Pretoria, has become the first government building, as well as the first in Tshwane, to be awarded a six-star Green Star rating.

The Green Building Council of South Africa (GBCSA) said on Tuesday, that, in addition to achieving a six-star Green Star South Africa (SA) Office Design v1 certification, the upcoming building also recorded the highest score, to date, for a large commercial office space…


State ‘to clear the air’ on emission limits

THE Department of Environmental Affairs is looking to clear the air when its air quality management chief director, Thuli Mdluli, addresses MPs next month on a newly published list of mandatory emissions limits for industrial processes.

The issue has caused widespread unhappiness in the industry. Environmental lobby groups and industry players last month called for the withdrawal of the list, saying significant changes to the initial draft had not been properly discussed with them, resulting in a relaxation of air quality standards.

The standards are part of a new regime under the Air Quality Act promulgated in 2004. The groups say that adopting the published emissions list would have public health consequences. Continue reading

Public hearings on amendments to Air Quality Act

The Portfolio Committee on Water and Environmental Affairs will be holding public hearings on “The potential or unintended consequences of the proposed amendments to the listed activities listed under section 21 of the National Environmental Management: Air Quality Act, 2004”, and invites all interested stakeholders to submit written comments on the subject matter not later than 11 April 2013. Public hearings are targeted for week of the 16 April 2013.

Section 21(3)(a) and (b) of the Act provide that the notice which sets out the listed activities:

“(a) must establish minimum emission standards in respect of a substance or mixture of substances resulting from a listed activity and identified in the notice, including –
(i) the permissible amount, volume, emission rate or concentration of that substances or mixture of substances that may be emitted; and
(ii) the manner in which measurements of such emissions must be carried out;
(b) may contain transitional and other special arrangements in respect of activities which are carried out at the time of their listing…”. Continue reading

Call for responses: EIA regime effectiveness


Have your say in highlighting the strengths and weaknesses in the current EIA system in South Africa. Parliament invites you to be a solution in strengthening the EIA regime

An environmental impact assessment (EIA) is an analytical process that systematically examines the possible environmental consequences of the implementation of projects, programmes and policies, which impacts on the environment. Commitments to the application and institutionalisation of EIA are enshrined in the international sustainable development agenda (including the Rio Principles, Agenda 21, and the Johannesburg Plan of Action), the Environmental Initiative of New Partnership for Africa’s Development (NEPAD), and in the Paris Declaration on Aid Effectiveness. Whilst the EIA is recognised globally as a key support tool for sustainable development, balancing local socio-economic, political and ecological priorities, especially in developing countries such as Africa, aspects of its implementation remains particularly challenging. Continue reading

SA launches electric vehicle pilot programme

Engineering News 26 February 2013.

The Department of Environmental Affairs (DEA) on Tuesday launched a Zero Emission Electric Vehicle Pilot Programme, which would see it trial a fleet of electric vehicles.

Speaking at the launch, Water and Environmental Affairs Minister Edna Molewa said the multistakeholder partnership project would pilot, test and demonstrate the viability of electric vehicles under South African conditions.

The pilot programme would also serve to determine end-user, infrastructure and running costs associated with local electric vehicle use, Energy Minister Dipuo Peters added.

Nissan South Africa – the primary private sector partner for the programme – would provide the DEA with four Nissan Leaf electric vehicles for the initial phase of the project, which would run for three years.

(Contributor’s note: There are a few problems and some great opportunites with this. One is that the South African developed Joule was dropped by the government just as it was ready to go commercial. Instead we appear to have joined forces with Nissan – what about localisation? Another problem is that 95% of our electricity comes from old coal fired power stations, emitting 1 kg carbon dioxide per kWh of electricity generated. So unless people charge their EVs with their own renewable energy the emission reduction will be very little. and has the Department of Public Works and the Treasury bought into this?
There are some opportunities though: Resurrect the Joule expertise for local manufacture of EVs, give big incentives to make all charging stations renewable energy powered, start with all government services using EVs and stop buying big SUVs and luxury cars.)