At this year’s spring meetings of the World Bank and International Monetary Fund, and the G20 Hamburg Summit in July, finance ministers will gather to discuss, among other pressing matters, climate change. Carbon pricing is expected to take up some of the discussion time, particularly at the G20 Summit. Thankfully, an in-depth report on carbon pricing will be available – one with notable contributions by UCT’s Professor Harald Winkler. The Commission Winkler, the director of the Energy Research Centre, was… Read moreHarald Winkler to serve on High-Level Commission on Carbon Prices
The Energy Research Centre & UCT have recorded a MOOC on Climate Change Mitigation in Developing Countries. You are invited to take part and to encourage others to join you. The next course begins on the 26th of December 2016 and you can sign up with minimal fuss: https://www.coursera.org/learn/climate-change-mitigation Some of the comments from previous participants Excellent intro to Climate Change mitigation and what has already been done, and how to take forward from lessons learned. Super-awesome course that taught me about… Read moreJoin our MOOC
ERC researchers, Dr Katye Altieri and Samantha Keen analysed the impacts of energy-related air pollution using the environmental Benefits Mapping and Analysis Program (BenMAP) model that they developed for South Africa. The high cost of air pollution The Global Burden of Disease (GBD) reported in 2012 that three million people die prematurely each year around the globe due to ambient air pollution (WHO, 2012), with low- and middle-income countries suffering the worst effects. Developing countries, that have a heavy reliance on fossil fuels,… Read moreThe cost of air pollution in South Africa
With the UN’s COP22 underway in Marrakesh, Wits Radio hosts a programme called ScienceInside that focuses on climate change. In an interview with Professor Harald Winkler, the director of the Energy Research Centre at the University of Cape Town and others, they find out more about what the Paris Agreement means for South Africans. Listen to the interview on SoundCloud.
Today the Paris Agreement comes into force – thirty days after having been ratified by more than 55 countries prod for more than 55% of global emissions, the two-fold legal trigger required. In total, 97 of the 197 Parties to the UNFCCC have ratified the Paris Agreement domestically; a list can be found on the UNFCCC’s Paris Agreement page. Below we have pulled together a number of articles from around the web to give you a clearer picture of what ‘entry… Read moreParis Agreement comes into force.
South Africa has ratified the Paris Agreement on climate change. In doing so, it has joined the growing momentum to take climate action. 87 countries had ratified already, exceeding the requirement of 55 Parties – and on 5 October, the second ‘trigger’ of representing 55% of global greenhouse gas emissions was also met. Thirty days after these two triggers were met, the Agreement formally ‘enters into force’ – on 4 November 2016. SA snuck in with its instrument of ratification… Read moreSA ratifies Paris Agreement
SA will have to close either all its coal-fired power stations or Sasol’s coal-to-liquids plant by 2050 to stay within its carbon budget of 14 gigatonnes, Jesse Burton, a researcher at the University of Cape Town’s Energy Research Centre, says. In any event, SA cannot build more coal-fired power stations if it is to meet its commitments under the Paris agreement to reduce its share of emissions of greenhouse gases to keep the increase in global temperatures below 2ºC above… Read moreSA’s coal habit hurts carbon budget
Technological advancements over the past decade have led to a rapid rise in unconventional natural gas production, known as “shale gas”, particularly in the USA and Canada. The large-scale and rapid development of shale gas has resulted in an abundant and cheap energy source with lower direct greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions than coal and petroleum. That South Africa has the eighth largest technically recoverable shale gas reserve in the world – located in three geological formations in the Karoo –… Read moreShale gas, air quality and GHG emissions
The US and China have jointly announced that both countries are ratifying the Paris Agreement on climate change. This has increased, the percentage of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions covered by countries that have ratified dramatically. The official UNFCCC website now shows 26 Parties having ratified, accounting for 39.08% of emissions. That latter number gets the world closer to the 55% required. And with the political momentum generated, it seems highly likely the Paris Agreement will enter into force soon. Before… Read moreChina and US ratify Paris Agreement on climate change – SA next?
A scoping meeting for the IPCC special report on 1.5 °C, (SR 1.5), was held in Geneva 15-18 Aug 2016. In the Paris decision, the UNFCCC had invited the IPCC to provide a speicial report (SR) in 2018 “on the impacts of global warming of 1.5 °C above pre-industrial levels and related global greenhouse gas emission pathways”. The Paris Agreement (PA) includes the aim to keep temperature increase “well below” 2 °C and pursue efforts limit to 1.5 °C. Ambitious climate… Read moreIPCC special report on 1.5 degrees scoped out