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environment sustainability

Carbon Tax 2015

The Minister of Finance Pravin Gordhan today announced plans to introduce a long-awaited carbon tax on 1 January 2015. Presenting the 2013 National Budget in the National Assembly on Thursday, Gordhan said carbon would be priced by way of a carbon tax at the rate of R120 per ton of CO2 equivalent. A tax-free exemption threshold of 60% will be set to soften the impact of the tax, with additional allowances for emissions intensive and trade-expose industries, he said.

The National Treasury will next month release an updated carbon tax policy paper for comment. He said mechanisms to support the production of biofuel and more environmentally friendly fuel through the upgrade of oil refineries will be introduced. Gordhan also encouraged organisations, smaller public entities and businesses to be creative and develop low-carbon projects through the Green Fund. He said 590 applications were received in the first call for proposals, adding that the R800 million previously allocated to the fund will be topped up with an extra R300 million.

The tax on motor vehicle CO2 emissions will increase on April 1 – from R75 to R90 for every gram of emission per kilometer above 120g of C02 per kilometer and in the case of double cabs from R100 to R125 for every gram per kilometer in excess of 175g per CO2 per kilometre. The levy on plastic bags will increase from 4c per bag to 6c per bag, while the environmental levy on incandescent light bulbs will increase from R3 to R4 per bulb. These increases will come into effect on 1 April.

SEE MORE ON CARBON AND TAXING, HERE, HERE AND HERE.

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environment sustainability

Going Green Is Going Forward

South Africa’s biggest polluters will have to ensure they’re prepared for a raft of regulations coming their way. Government last month released its draft carbon tax policy, which has already been approved by Cabinet. And more environmental taxes have been mooted, as South Africa tackles its status as one of the world’s biggest polluters, heading up to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change to be held in Durban this year.

The clampdown is likely to place pressure on local companies to cut their carbon dioxide emissions. And the pressure from government could mount, as South Africa attempts to reach its target of cutting emissions by 34 percent below the ‘business as usual’ levels by 2020, and by 42 percent by 2025.

While many companies are already voluntarily looking at innovative ways of

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environment sustainability

Carbon policy and South Africa

Kyoto? Carbon policies and markets? What does that have to do with me? Or South Africa? More than we think it seems. I asked  an energy consultant about carbon policies and South Africa. She says, “Yes, there are carbon policies in place globally as part of Kyoto Protocol. For example, European governments agree on a maximum amount that key carbon-emitting  businesses (like oil companies or electricity generators) can emit annually and anything over and above that, the companies have to buy carbon credits to cover. If you are below your limit you can also sell your allowance.”

This doesn’t really impact South Africa but there is another tool,