State Owned Companies’emission reduction activities can catalyze green economy
IT IS well known that South Africa’s industrial economy is energy demanding and it depends on coal, as a result the country is ranked as one of the 30 largest emitters of greenhouse gases globally and amongst the highest per capita carbon emitters in Africa. Because of this the country has adopted a proactive approach to ensure that it is playing a leading role in combating the global challenges associated with climate change.
To assist with this challenge the Department of Public Enterprises (DPE) launched its first Climate Change Policy Framework for all State Owned Companies (SOC) on the 5 of July 2012. The objective of the Framework is to optimize the impact of the SOCs on the reduction of carbon emissions and development of the Green Economy without compromising SOC financial viability. There are four key design principles informing the policy:
• The SOCs need to focus on optimizing the overlap between commercial, economic, developmental and environmental objectives whilst carefully managing areas where these objectives conflict.
• It is expected that over time, climate change and broader environmental and green economy considerations will be integrated into the heart of SOC planning, procurement and operational processes.
• Each SOC requires flexibility in the way it responds to the challenges of climate change given the diversity of sectors within which the SOC operate.
• The development of the green economy requires a high level of collaboration across SOCs, as well as between SOCs and government; with the shareholder representative playing a facilitating role in this regard.
The focus of the policy is to start the process of integrating climate and green economy considerations into the SOC planning processes and to facilitate a high level of collaboration between the SOCs and government to enable the efficient implementation of green economy initiatives.