Top SA carbon sinners revealed

2008-11-19 19:12

Cape Town - A total of 59 of South Africa's Top 100 companies have responded to South Africa's Carbon Disclosure Project, Environment Minister Marthinus van Schalkwyk said on Wednesday.

The project calls on companies to provide information on their greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, which are driving climate change.

Speaking at the launch of the second annual SA Carbon Disclosure Report in Johannesburg, he said there had been a "sizeable increase" in the number of companies disclosing their emissions.

"More than 75% of responding companies disclosed their GHG emissions this year. While in several instances this disclosure is only on a partial basis, there is nevertheless an emerging commitment to improved monitoring and reporting on greenhouse gas emissions."

However, there remained room for improvement.

"Relatively few companies (23%) have disclosed specific, company-wide GHG emissions reduction targets; and most of those companies that have emissions targets have focused on reducing their emissions-intensity, rather than striving for a reduction in absolute emissions.

"If South Africa's emissions are to peak and then decline, companies will need to demonstrate a significantly higher level of ambition," he said.

Carbon-intensive companies dominated South Africa's disclosed GHG emissions.

"The three largest GHG emitters (excluding Eskom) - Sasol, BHP Billiton and Anglo American - account for two-thirds of the total reported GHG emissions of responding listed companies in South Africa."

Electricity consumption constituted 41% of the total reported GHG emissions.

"It is evident that South Africa's current electricity-generation mix has a profound impact on the majority of corporate emission levels," he said.

- Sapa