Pollution

Companies Warned Over Water Management

The Global Water Report, the third of its own to come out of the Carbon Disclosure Project, shows that South African companies could end up closing if they do not change their approach to water management as demand will outstrip by as much as 17 percent in 2030.

The report’s main finding is that companies are not looking at the risk water scarcity will create and are continuing with ‘business-as-usual’, adding that to rectify this, more ambition is needed.

Witbank Air the Most Polluted - EU

The European Union (EU) says that some of the highest levels of poisonous gases in the air are found above Witbank, in Mpumalanga, and the surroundings.
 
The levels of chromium and barium are so high that an EU research team’s instruments have been unable to take accurate measurements.
 
The team had spent two years gathering data from the coal-rich catchment area of the Olifants River to determine whether environmental and social offences are taking place.
 

Greenpeace: SONA Ignores Electricity Crisis

Environmental group, Greenpeace, says South Africans face ‘sharply’ increasing electricity prices and an impending water crisis - something the president seems to have missed in his State of the Nation Address.

The organisation argues that while government’s estimated R47 billion investment in renewable energy projects is a step in the right direction, this amount is insignificant when compared to the well-over R200 billion being spent on new coal-fired power stations - or the estimated R1 trillion for the planned nuclear programme.

Study Exposes Black Carbon Pollution

Black carbon, the soot produced by burning fossil fuels and biomass, is a more potent atmospheric pollutant than previously thought, according to a four-year international study released by the United Nations.

The study, which has been published in the Journal of Geophysical Research-Atmospheres, notes that emitted by diesel engines, brick kilns and wood-fired stoves, black carbon is second only to carbon dioxide as the most powerful climate pollutant.

Climate Talks Enter Second Week

Countries have entered a second week of United Nations climate talks in Doha deeply divided on key issues even as fresh warnings were issued that rising greenhouse gas levels are putting our planet in peril.

After six days of intense negotiations, observers say nations are far from agreement on extending the Kyoto Protocol on curbing emissions of Earth-warming gases, mainly carbon dioxide (CO2) produced from burning fossil fuels.

Africa Pushes for World Carbon Emissions Cut

African civil society organisations are calling on developed countries to reduce emissions of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases to keep Africa safe from the impact of global warming and climate change.
 
Coordinator for the Pan African Climate Justice Alliance (PACJA), Mithika Mwenda, points out that, "Africa bears the burden of climate change which is not of its making."
 

Eskom Breaks Environmental Laws - Report

Power supplier Eskom is breaking more environmental laws than any other state corporation, according to the latest National Environmental Compliance and Enforcement Report.

Released by Environment Minister, Edna Molewa, the report reveals that the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) cannot, under current legislation, prosecute the utility in this regard.

The report further found that, "Eskom remains the organ of state with the highest rate of non-compliance with environmental legislation."
 

Call to Tackle Widening Emissions Gap

The United Nations' Environment Programme (UNEP) says the greenhouse gas emissions in 2020 could be between 8 billion and 13 billion tonnes above what is needed to limit global warming to two degrees Celsius.

An annual report prepared by UNEP and the European Climate Foundation, studied a range of estimates to assess whether current pledges for emissions cuts are enough to limit the worst effects of climate change.

Atmospheric Greenhouse Gases up Since 2000

The report by the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) says the concentration of heat-trapping greenhouse gases like carbon dioxide in the atmosphere is up about 20 percent since 2000.

The report, which was released just days ahead of a major climate conference, reminded world governments that their efforts to fight climate change are far from enough to meet their stated goal of limiting global warming to 2 degrees Celsius (3.6 Fahrenheit).

Calls for Action on Global Temperatures

The World Bank has warned that global temperatures could rise by four degrees this century without immediate action, with potentially devastating consequences for coastal cities and the poor.

Issuing a call for action, the bank tied the future wealth of the planet - and especially developing regions - to immediate efforts to cut greenhouse gas emissions from sources such as energy production.

World Bank President, Jim Yong Kim, points out that, "The time is very, very short. The world has to tackle the problem of climate change more aggressively."

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