News / South Africa

1 minute read
26 Aug 2021
6:01 am

SA’s greenhouse gas emissions increase by 10% in 17 years


The decrease in the net forestry and other land use sector is due to an increasing land sink.

Earth's average temperature will reach 1.5 degrees Celsius above preindustrial levels around 2030, a decade earlier than projected only three years ago. Photo: CARL DE SOUZA / AFP

South Africa’s seventh National Greenhouse Gas Inventory Report 2000 to 2017 shows that emissions have increased by 10.4% over the 17-year period.

The 2000 to 2017 emissions results revealed an increasing trend in emissions in the energy, product use and waste sectors.

“The decrease in the net forestry and other land use sector is due to an increasing land sink.”

“There was an annual average increase of 2.0% between 2000 and 2009, and then emissions stabilised and declined with an average annual decline of 1.0%,” the department of forestry, fisheries and the environment said on Wednesday.

The latest report was published as part of South Africa’s commitment in terms of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), which requires countries to not only address climate change, but also to monitor trends in anthropogenic greenhouse gas emissions.

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One of the principal commitments includes developing, publishing and regularly updating national emission inventories of greenhouse gases.

Parties to the UNFCCC are also obligated to protect and enhance carbon sinks and reservoirs, such as forests, and implement measures that assist in national and regional climate change adaptation and mitigation.

The department said the information gleaned from the Inventory Report supported policy development and decision making related to a viable climate change mitigation response as South Africa transitioned to a low
carbon and climate resilient society.

“The Inventory is also important in terms of supporting national imperatives, such as the implementation of the carbon tax, determining carbon budgets and other climate mitigation instruments,” Minister Barbara Creecy said.