Posted on: July 29, 2008 Posted by: Diane Swarts Comments: 0

South Africa. The government said it will set targets for reducing emissions of climate-altering gases and may impose a carbon tax to limit the country’s contribution to global warming.

“The National Treasury is currently investigating the viability of imposing a tax on carbon emissions and will present its findings to Cabinet soon”, Environmental Affairs and Tourism Ministervan Schalkwyk told reporters in Cape Town. He expects new legislation aimed at guarding against climate change to be adopted by 2012.

Van Schalkwyk said that Greenhouse-gas emissions must stop growing at the latest by 2020 to 2025, stabilize for up to 10 years, and then decline in absolute terms.

South Africa emitted about 446 million tons of carbon gas in 2003 and forecasts growth to a maximum of 550 million tons a year by 2025, according to environment ministry documents.

That will require changes at state-owned Eskom Holdings.ESkom supplies more than 90 percent of South Africa’s power and currently gets about 87 percent of its electricity from coal-fired plants, the most polluting of the major types of electricity generation.

The new policy will require all new power stations to be enabled to utilize carbon-capture technology, which involves extracting carbon dioxide from emissions, compressing it and disposing of it underground.

By: Mike Cohen