Environment

SA to Cut Emissions, But Want Aid

South Africa has offered to slow the growth of its greenhouse gas emissions by 34 percent by 2020, conditional on a broader international agreement and financial aid.

In a press statement, the Presidency says that, "This level of effort enables South Africa's emissions to peak between 2020 and 2025, plateau for approximately a decade and decline in absolute terms thereafter."

The country will lower its carbon emissions, largely from burning coal, to 34 percent below expected levels by 2020 and about 42 percent below current trends by 2025.

Climate Talks Must Deliver – de Boer

The United Nations (UN) says the biggest climate talks in history must deliver an ambitious, sweeping agreement to capitalise on pledges by countries to fight global warming.

A day before the two-week talks in the Danish capital formally begin, the UN climate chief, Yvo de Boer, points out that is up to agree on the outlines of a tougher climate deal after troubled negotiations have deepened splits between rich and poor nations.

Week of Climate Change Action

Climate Justice Now! South Africa (Gauteng Chapter), Earthlife Africa Johannesburg and Well Worn Theatre invite you to join in a Week of Activism on Climate Change from 7-12 December 2009 in Johannesburg.

On the 12 December 2009, South Africa will join with thousands upon thousands of voices to call for Climate Justice Now!

Naidoo Urges World Leaders to Save Climate

On becoming Greenpeace International executive director, prominent human rights activist, Kumi Naidoo, has warned world leaders that there can be no excuse for not attending the upcoming United Nations Copenhagen Climate Summit and agreeing a fair, ambitious and binding treaty to save the climate.

Naidoo argues that the Copenhagen Summit offers the single greatest opportunity for leaders to come together and create a legally binding agreement to avert climate chaos.

Africa Requires US$70bn to Fight Climate Change

For Africa to effectively tackle the growing challenges of climate change currently holding every part of the world to ransom, the continent is in dire need of not less than $70 billion annually to mitigate the impact of the scourge. This is the view of Africa Environmental & Economic peace Mission (AEEPM).

Deputy national coordinator of the group, Rosemary Ijeoma Okenwa, says that the recent UN Climate conference which was held from 28 September to 10 October 2009 in Bangkok, Thailand, failed to reach an agreement on key issues slated for discussion.

NERSA to Approve Renewable Energy Guidelines

The National Energy Regulator of South Africa (NERSA) is set to approve the second phase of the renewable energy feed-in tariff guidelines this week.

The approved guidelines will indicate the extent to which NERSA has accommodated the renewable energy industry’s concerns which were raised at public hearings earlier this year. The guidelines are a vital cog in efforts to stimulate investment in renewable energy as they provide regulatory certainty and an incentive to invest.

UN Calls for Compromise Ahead of Climate Summit

United Nations (UN) secretary-general, Ban Ki-moon, has urged member nations to reach a compromise ahead of a climate change summit scheduled for December in Copenhagen and called on the United States to stay engaged.

In an op-ed article published by the New York Times, Ban points out that, "All agree that climate change is an existential threat to humankind. Yet agreement on what to do still eludes us."

Greenpeace Sets Sights on South Africa

South Africa can cut its annual greenhouse gas emissions by more than 200-million tonnes by 2050 without sacrificing economic growth if it uses energy more efficiently and increases wind and solar power production, according to Greenpeace.

Greenpeace’s Brad Smith points out that South Africa could find economic opportunity, becoming the continent's hub for green technologies now more commonly found in North America, Asia and Europe.

Soros to Give Millions to Save Earth

Billionaire philanthropist, George Soros, has thrown his considerable weight behind campaigns to save the world from the effects of global warming.

Soros plans to launch a Climate Policy Initiative, which he will fund with US$10 million (R74.5 million) a year for 10 years. He will invest up to a further US$1 billion in clean-air technology.

Soros maintains that, “Global warming is a political problem. The science is clear, what is less clear is whether world leaders will demonstrate the political will necessary to solve the problem.”

South Africa Urged to Cuts Emissions

The World Wild Fund (WWF) has urged South Africa to begin cutting carbon emissions today in order to avoid steeper and more disruptive reductions later.

In its proposal for a strict global carbon budget between now and 2050, the WWF says that the country cannot afford to wait until 2030 before cutting emissions.

"The cheapest way of cutting emissions would be to not make certain investment choices, such as building a smelter," says WWF trade and investment adviser, Peet du Plooy.

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