Perspectives
Tuesday, 27 September 2011 09:34

Durban to showcase green colours to the world

Written by Nichelle Lemmer

The eyes of the world will be on Durban in November and December, when more than 20 000 delegates from the global community, representing 190 nations, will come to the city for COP17. Durban plays host to the largest gathering of an international community that will discuss climate change. This is also the biggest conference ever to be held on the African continent. The discussions will take place at the International Convention Centre (ICC).

Wednesday, 03 August 2011 10:26

ISO energy-management standard published

The launch of the International Standard ISO50001 on 15 June 2011 is likely to add further drive to the energy-management momentum that is building in South Africa. Energy is one of the most critical challenges facing the international community today. The International Organisation for Standardisation (ISO) estimates that this standard could have a positive impact on some 60% of the world’s energy use.
Wednesday, 03 August 2011 10:23

Spare some energy for an action plan

Berhard Oettli, an international consultant at INFRAS, is of the opinion that the government should guard against wasting time in finetuning the National Energy Efficiency Strategy. During the National Energy Efficiency strategy workshop, he gave an overview of the European Union’s strategies on energy-efficiency. 

Dennis Dykes Nedbank’s chief economist

Nedbank’s chief economist, Dennis Dykes, is often invited to speak at conferences on the interaction between climate change, water management and environmental issues. 25º in Africa spoke to Dykes to find out more about his perspective on water management issues, acid-mine drainage, the planned carbon tax and the upcoming United Nations Conference of the Parties on climate change to find out how the financial sector is being affected by environmental issues in the country.

When it comes to climate change in South Africa, the growth without constraints scenario versus the scenario required by science is too broad a gap to close (as indicated in the LTMS), according to Dr Jenitha Badul, Director of National Greening at the Department of Environmental Affairs.
Many South African water reticulation systems are experiencing problems due to maintenance backlogs. One possible solution to address this issue is to involve the support of the Private Sector through some form of Public Private Partnership. Unfortunately there are relatively few successful projects or case studies on which to base future PPP projects but one such project that has recently been completed in South Africa is discussed below.
The Africa Progress Panel (APP) recently launched a report stating that world leaders must honour their pledges to provide an additional $100-billion annually in climate finance by 2020. The report, titled Finance for climate-resilient development in Africa – An agenda for action following the Copenhagen conference, argues that additional public financing is needed for the continent to achieve millennium development goals, climate-change adaptation and mitigation of greenhouse gas emissions in Africa.
Thursday, 16 September 2010 11:26

Energy from an economic perspective

“Although renewable energy is continuing to grow, it will remain a small part of our energy mix unless government intervenes. Fossil fuels will be the primary energy source for the next thirty years if we don’t have stringent government policies,” says Professor Carol Dahl of the Colorado School of Mines’ Mineral and Energy Programme.
“By nature, renewable energy fuels are not reliable. They often require a Plan B to ensure grid stability and to enable operators to meet their generation commitments,” says Paul Eardley-Taylor, Head of Energy, Utilities and Infrastructure Coverage at Standard Bank.
Investing in the restoration and maintenance of the Earth's multi-trillion dollar ecosystems – from forests and mangroves to wetlands and river basins – could play a key role in countering climate change and climateproofing vulnerable economies. This was according to central findings of a new climate issues update by The Economics of Ecosystems and Biodiversity (TEEB), a project launched by Germany and the European
Commission in response to a proposal by the G8+5 Environment Ministers (Potsdam, Germany 2007) to develop a global study on the economics of biodiversity loss.