Home » South Africa to Miss Climate Target as Coal Plants Stay Open 

South Africa to Miss Climate Target as Coal Plants Stay Open 

by Victor Adetimilehin

South Africa, one of the world’s biggest greenhouse gas emitters, will fail to meet its 2030 climate target under the Paris agreement, three senior government officials confirmed. The country had pledged to cut its emissions to between 350 and 420 million tonnes by 2030, from 442 million tonnes in 2020.

But a power supply crisis has forced the country to delay the decommissioning of eight coal-fired power plants, which account for half of its emissions. The plants were supposed to be shut down by 2034, but now they will run for longer, the officials said.

South Africa has committed to net zero emissions by 2050, but its dependence on coal for electricity has hampered its transition to renewable energy. The country has been suffering from blackouts of up to 10 hours a day for the past 18 months.

The environment ministry said the country remained committed to achieving its Paris agreement commitments and that it was too early to conclude that the 2030 target would be missed. It said it would submit its latest greenhouse gas inventory report to the United Nations before the COP28 summit, which starts later this month.

South Africa’s decision comes as several rich countries and companies are backtracking on their climate pledges, putting the Paris goals in peril. The United Nations said on Wednesday that fossil fuel output by 2030 will be more than double the levels consistent with the 2015 Paris goals.

Some researchers have warned that missing the emission targets will not only contribute to global warming, but also harm the health and livelihoods of South Africans who live in areas with high pollution from coal plants.

The Presidential Climate Commission, an advisory body, has urged the government to shelve the idea of extending the life of coal plants until the power crisis is solved. It has also suggested some ways to reduce emissions, such as increasing energy efficiency, expanding public transport and restoring natural ecosystems.

The commission’s executive director, Crispian Olver, told Reuters that the country still had a chance to achieve its 2050 goal if it acted fast and decisively. “We have a window of opportunity to make this transition happen, but it’s closing rapidly,” he said.


Source: Minning Weekly


You may also like

Leave a Comment

The African Miner is the vanguard of the mining industry, delivering world-class insight and news.

Latest Stories

© 2024 The African Miner. All Rights Reserved.