21 February 2005

South Africa: SA Has Projects Lined Up to Benefit From Kyoto Protocol

Cape Town — Projects have been proposed which, if implemented, would reduce SA's carbon emissions by 21-million tons by 2012 and generate revenue of R618m through carbon trading under the Kyoto Protocol, Minerals and Energy Minister Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka said on Friday.

Twenty-one million tons would represent an 11% reduction in the emissions of one of the country's main polluters, Eskom, which in 2003 emitted 190-million tons of carbon dioxide, mainly through its coal-fired power stations.

Mlambo-Ngucka said at a briefing in Parliament that the minerals and energy department had set up a designated national authority office at the beginning of December last year to handle transactions for clean air development mechanisms under the Kyoto Protocol.

The protocol took effect last week and aims to reduce the world's emission of greenhouse gases, which are contributing to global warming.

The designated authority will evaluate the projects received and companies with approved projects will be able to claim funding for them from the international carbon fund. The fund is linked to the United Nations and the World Bank, and is financed by polluting countries buying credits from developing countries.

Mlambo-Ngcuka said the carbon fund was important for developing countries as it would provide finance for projects that they otherwise would not have been able to afford, while at the same time contributing to the reduction in carbon emissions.

The minister also provided an update on the hydroelectric project planned for the Ingwe River in the Democratic Republic of Congo.

The five participating countries - SA, Angola, Botswana, Congo and Namibia - would each have a 20% stake, which could change later according to the levels of energy consumption each country required, Mlambo-Ngcuka said.

"We would want to hold on to as much as possible because SA is a big consumer.

"The more significant player we are at a shareholder level, the better deal we can negotiate".

The Western Corridor Power Company, which has been established with headquarters in Botswana, will undertake a feasibility study on the cost and time frame for the development.

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