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Greenhouse Gas Inventory Published

The Inventory was published for public comment by the Minister of Environmental Affairs, Ms Edna Molewa, on 6 June 2014 in Gazette No 37701.

A draft report on the National Greenhouse Gas Inventory for South Africa was received by Cabinet on 26 June 2014. The report is in line with the United National Framework convention on Climate Change which South Africa ratified in 1997. According to this Convention countries are meant submit their progress reports every two years. The current draft report has been released for public comments. It will be finalised to be ready for submission later in the year.

In 2011 the Department of Environmental Affairs initiated a process to develop South Africa’s fourth national GHG inventory covering the period 2000 to 2010. The objective of the work is to ensure that South Africa has an understanding of both its emissions profile and the key drivers of change in emissions.

South Africa has to report its National GHG emissions as part of its Biennial Update Report by December 2014. The Biennial Update Report also includes the measures for mitigate climate change and identifies the constraints and gaps that exist in order to mitigate climate change.

The first national GHG inventory in South Africa was prepared in 1998, using 1990 data. It was updated to include 1994 data and published in 2004. Both, the 1990 and the 2004 reports were developed using the 1996 Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) Guidelines for National Greenhouse Gas Inventories.

The GHG Inventory for South Africa 2000-2010 documents South Africa’s GHG emission trends for that period. The reporting of these emissions is in line with the new 2006 guidelines of the IPCC. The utilisation of the 2006 IPCC guidelines was to ensure that the GHG inventory report is accurate, consistent, complete and transparent.

The key categories indicate those activities that have significant contribution to the total profile of South Africa’s emissions. The key categories were identified by carrying out the IPCC Tier 1 level and trend assessment with the 2000 and 2010 GHG inventories.

The key categories for 2010 (excluding the Land sub-sector) are Energy industries (solid fuels), Road transportation, Manufacturing and construction (solid fuels) and Enteric fermentation; while an assessment of key categories over the 2000-2010 time period shows Other sectors (solid fuels), Other emissions from energy production, Enteric fermentation, and Iron and Steel production to be key categories.

South Africa is in the process of creating a national GHG inventory system. This is a description and implementation of information flows, roles and responsibilities. The national system will ensure that the country prepares and manages data collection and analysis, as well as all relevant information related to climate change in the most consistent, transparent and accurate manner for both internal and external reporting. This national system will be managed by the National Inventory Unit (NIU) within the Climate Change Branch at DEA.

The South African Air Quality Information System (SAAQIS) will play a major role in managing reporting and processing of data. Only emissions from energy and industrial processes will be estimated using the SAAQIS. Due to their complex emission estimating methods, emission sectors such Agriculture, Forestry, Land Use and Waste are to be estimated “outside” the SAAQIS system. The SAAQIS will in turn, ingest the outputs of models used in the Agriculture, Forestry, Land Use and Waste sectors so that it can generate a national emissions profile.

The report summarises the aggregated GHG trends by gas and emission source; details explanations of the emissions in the Energy, Industrial Processes and Product Use (IPPU), Agriculture, Forestry and other land use (AFOLU) and Waste sectors. This includes an overall trend assessment, data sources, methodology, recalculations, uncertainty and time-series consistency, Quality Assurance/Quality Control and planned improvements and recommendations.

The GHG Inventory states that in 2010 the total GHG emissions in South Africa, excluding the Land sub-sector, steadily increased by 24.9% between 2000 and 2010. Including the Land sub-sector, which is estimated to be a net carbon sink, leads to greater annual fluctuations in the total CO2 emitted.

This report was compiled by the Department of Environmental Affairs (DEA) in response to South Africa’s obligation to report their greenhouse (GHG) emissions to international climate change bodies.

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