SA state entities sign UN climate pact

2012-07-05 14:29

Pretoria - Eight state-owned companies signed the United Nations Global Compact (UNGC) on Thursday, pledging their commitment to a green world economy.

Public Enterprises Minister Malusi Gigaba said in Pretoria the companies under his portfolio would align their operations with the provisions of the UNGC without curtailing financial viability.

Senior officials from Eskom, SA Airways, Transnet, SA Express, arms manufacturer Denel, diamond miner Alexkor, telecommunications company Broadband Infraco, and the SA Forestry Company signed the pact.

Gigaba said the symbolic signing was evidence of government’s dedication to combating problems caused by climate change.

"Our objective is to make a fair contribution to the global efforts that seek to stabilise greenhouse gas while being cognisant of the outcomes."


Gigaba said the public enterprises department would guide the companies on achieving a greener economy.

"It is our intention, through these state-owned companies, to build responsible global champions that understand their responsibility towards the sustainability of the world we occupy."

The department launched a climate change policy framework on Wednesday, which would align the companies' operations to the UNGC.

Gigaba said the framework was meant to get the companies to reduce their carbon emissions. South Africa's industrial economy was energy-intensive and coal-dependent, and the country was ranked as one of the 30 largest emitters of greenhouse gases in the world.

"The bulk of the greenhouse gas emissions in South Africa come from the energy sector, which contributed 78% of the country’s total greenhouse gases in 1994," Gigaba said.

"As a result we have now adopted a pro-active approach so as to ensure that South Africa plays a leading role in combating the global challenges associated with climate change."

The UNGC is a voluntary corporate citizen initiative, involving, among others, thousands of businesses from every continent.

Businesses bound by the UNGC file annual progress reports to the global institute.

  • nrgx.nrg - 2012-07-05 15:17 during the power stations build process, we have to comply to these protocols. Now we might never see them get built.

  • kathleen.whiteley.7 - 2012-07-05 16:43

    What does Gigaba know? Carbon is the most important element of the eart's atmosphere, holding six other atoms in its grip. Humans do not create or destory carbon; they recycle it in natural forms. I ask myself who is responsible for this climate paranoia. Not the RBIC countries, who are developing their economies and uplifting their poor. South Africa is a member of RBIC. Somebody was promised something.

      ernst.j.joubert - 2012-07-05 17:08

      @Kathleen: So, according to you, the 98% of climate scientists that agree that there is substantial evidence that the burning of fossil feuls is damaging the stability of the climate are wrong? "I ask myself who is responsible for this climate paranoia." Carbon emissions are projected to reach 800ppm by middle centuary, up from 280ppm before the industrial revolution. These levels existed when dinosaurs lived. Do you think it is a good idea to go back to conditions that existed then in a matter of 50 years? Do you think that present ecosystems that have developed over millions of years can adapt in a matter of 50? Time will tell. I dont think its a good idea to take this risk. "Humans do not create or destory carbon; they recycle it in natural forms." Humans dig up carbon that has been stored underground for millions of years and then release it into the atmosphere by burning it. What is your point? Metaphorically speaking, the atmosphere is a cake and if you come to the party late you cannot expect that there will be significant portions left. Developing countries cannot demand the same levels of pollution as countries that have developed over centuries. They must do their their part and if they dont like it they should have developed ages ago.

  • morgaenart.farto - 2012-07-05 16:57

    What? No ernst and his gaybot minions espousing what a wonderful agreement SA has signed? Maybe The Virus finally killed ernst off (hopefully).

      ernst.j.joubert - 2012-07-05 17:14

      Morgaen: Go farto somewhere else.

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