South Africa’s Greenhouse gas emissions up 10% in 17 years
Developing countries like South Africa emit much less per capita than developed economies; hence chances of emissions shooting up is higher
South Africa emitted 482,016.4 gigagram carbon dioxide and equivalents (Gg CO2e) in 2017, up 10.4 per cent over greenhouse gases the country released in 2000.
The country’s seventh National GHG inventory report 2000 to 2017 was published by the ministry of forestry, fisheries and the environment August 24, 2021.
There was an increasing trend in emissions in the energy, industrial processes and product use (IPPU) as well as waste sectors, said the report.
The study covered all major greenhouses gases: CO2, methane, nitrous oxide, perfluorocarbons, hydrofluorocarbons and indirect greenhouse gases such as carbon monoxide and oxides of nitrogen.
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Sulphur hexafluoride emissions had not been included in the report because of a lack of data available, said the department of forestry, fisheries and environment.
The report was published as part of South Africa’s commitment in terms of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), which required countries to not only address climate change but also monitor trends in anthropogenic greenhouse gas emissions.
Emissions were recorded from four sectors: Energy, IPPU, agriculture, forestry and other land use (AFOLU) as well as waste.
The decrease in net emissions from the AFOLU sector was due to an increasing land sink. There was an annual average increase of 2 per cent between 2000 and 2009. Then emissions stabilised and declined at an average annual rate of 1 per cent, according to the report.
The energy sector contributed 78 per cent of the total GHG emissions, IPPU 7 per cent, AFOLU 12 per cent and waste 3 per cent in 2000. In 2017, energy contributed 80.1 per cent, IPPU 6.3 per cent, AFOLU 9.5 per cent and waste 4.1 per cent.
The energy sector was the main contributor, accounting for 58.7 per cent of emissions from the energy sector. The other major components were transport (13 per cent) as well as manufacturing industries and construction (6.9 per cent).