South Africa to launch carbon tax in 2015

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South Africa: A carbon tax of around $13 per tonne of CO2 is to be introduced in South Africa. The tax its biggest industrial emitters and is expected to be running from 2015. (AlertNet)

The Richards Bay coal terminal near Durban is the largest coal export facility in Africa (Source: RBCT)

Mike Rossouw, chairman of the Energy Intensive Users’ Group told the Times in South Africa that the news was a mix of “the ugly, the good and the uncertain”.

“The ugly is that the announcement took place when industry is not yet ready to implement and a range of supporting regulatory measures is not in place,” he claimed

Shares in big emitters targeted by the tax fell. Steel giant ArcelorMittal’s South African business saw a drop of 6% after the announcement. (Times)

South Africa’s electricity generation is dominated by coal. Dave Collins an energy expert with Mac Consulting told South Africa’s Mining Weekly the only way the coal industry could compete in future with other energy sources would be to reduce its greenhouse-gas emissions with carbon capture and storage (CCS).

He added that coal would continue to dominate but “this could change if carbon taxes are implemented, which is why CCS is of great importance”. (Mining Weekly)

Keystone XL: EU Climate chief Connie Hedegaard has said that rejecting the Keystone XL pipeline would “send a strong signal to the world” that the Obama administration is serious about climate change. A decision on the project is expected from the US State Department in the coming months. (Platts)

Russia: Presidential advisor Dr Alexander Bedritsky says he is still unhappy at the way the UN talks in Doha concluded, amid Russia protests at the decision over the Kyoto Protocol and ‘hot air’ allowances.

Addressing reporters after a meeting with Russia, Ukraine, Kazakhstan, Belarus he said: “We see the goal in starting a discussion on this matter. We want to add this to the agenda of the Subsidiary Body for Implementation, where we could talk about the current situation, try to work out solutions – how to avoid such breaches. We will bring the issue up at SBI, which is scheduled to meet in June”.

EU: The carbon price in Europe topped €5 after German Chancellor Angela Merkel indicated her support for stuttering attempts in Brussels to reform the market. Plans to withhold more than 900m credits in an effort to boost prices have been met with less support than anticipated. (Bloomberg)

China: A coal-bed methane company has confirmed that it received $44m in 2012 from the UN climate agency’s Clean Development Mechanism (CDM). The scheme which also funds smaller projects such as clean cook stoves, gave the Shanxi Jincheng Anthracite Mining Group the funding for generating electricity from gas released by its mines, which can be a danger to miners. (Xinhua)



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