It has been over 2 years since world leaders met and formulated The Paris Agreement: discussing climate change, greenhouse gasses (GHG) and what we as a global community can do about it. South African regulations in line with The Paris Agreement have been in the pipeline ever since. In April last year (2017), the Minister of Environmental Affairs published the National Greenhouse Gas Reporting Regulations for South Africa, redefining the management of GHG emissions for our country.

GHG emissions have a huge impact on our environment. Monitoring and controlling these emissions are not just a matter of environmental concern. It also forms part and parcel of the legislation that companies must adhere to, in order to avoid penalties. This makes it even more important that businesses must conduct climate change assessments on their processes and production.

South Africa’s GHG Emissions Per Capita Are Higher Than Average

Although South Africa has a climate change policy that is highly regarded internationally, and we are thought of as a great country for investment in renewable energy, research shows that we also have greenhouse gas emissions that are higher than the average of the other G20 developing countries. So, we could be doing better. The new regulations for climate change management are part of trying to reduce emissions and improve climate change mitigation for South African companies – a positive move for the environment.

Have You Been Adhering to Draft Regulations?

South Africa’s greenhouse gas regulations have been publicly known for some time now. If you operate a business that potentially results in GHG emissions you should be aware of the regulations and the potential need to comply to these.

The full regulations can be found here. But, for your convenience, here are some of the aspects that are included:

  • Defined boundaries of operation
  • Exclusion of certain toxic emissions from combustion (machinery and vehicles) and inclusion within allowed thresholds
  • Reporting GHG emissions separately for carbon dioxide (CO2), methane (CH4) and Nitrous Oxide (N2O)
  • Reporting energy and resource consumption.

Companies that operate processes that are listed in the regulations need to be registered and be able to submit a completely transparent emission report every year. It is expected that reports including 2017 information will need to be submitted by March 2018.

How Can Gondwana Environmental Solutions Assist? 

Understanding the new GHG regulations and then implementing processes to comply is complex, and should be undertaken with the help from a reputable environmental management company. Gondwana Environmental Solutions can assist by conducting a full climate change assessment – looking both at how climate change is affecting your company, and how your company is affecting the environment. In order to monitor and reduce emissions, it is essential that an air quality management plan be developed, and implemented, so that adhering to regulations is simpler and driven by processes to ensure absolute peace of mind.

For more information about our environmental management services, please call 27 11 472 3112, or contact us electronically.