Greenhouse gas emissions figures release

Strategy to plan for climate change

The eThekwini Greenhouse Gas Emissions Inventory was compiled to help plan climate change mitigation strategies within the municipality.
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The eThekwini Greenhouse Gas Emissions Inventory (GHGEI) for 2011 was presented to all interested parties within the City by the senior manager of the energy office, Derek Morgan recently.

The inventory identifies the sources of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from both the government and public sectors within the eThekwini municipal area.

The inventory was compiled to help plan climate change mitigation strategies within the municipality.

The GHG Emissions Inventory is divided into two sub-inventories, one for the broader eThekwini community and one for the municipality or local government emissions.

The local government “sub-inventory” includes GHG emissions from activities under the control of the eThekwini municipality entity, whilst the community inventory includes GHG emissions from various sectors within the boundary of the eThekwini municipal area. 

As per figures presented by Morgan the total greenhouse emissions recorded for entire eThekwini municipal area was 27,649,400 tCO2e1 for the 2011 year.

The largest contribution to this footprint was transportation (37% of the total GHGs) followed closely by Industry emissions (32%). Local government emissions account for 6% of the total eThekwini emissions.

Morgan stated that the 2010 baseline GHGEI was developed as an easy to use EXCEL sheet as this allows for reporting of GHG emissions on an annual basis.

This reporting tool was updated for the first time in order to calculate 2011 emissions.

Total local government emissions for the 2011 period were 1,511,420 tC02e.

The government emissions sub-inventory included operations that are directly under the eThekwini municipality’s control and emissions arising from the use of all significant assets and services during 2011.

The highest municipal emission source, contributing 45% to the Municipality’s total 2011 emission inventory, was electrical transmission and distribution losses.

This figure includes technical and non-technical losses from electricity purchased from Eskom.

The second highest municipal emission source was from the sale of Certified Emission Reductions (carbon credits), contributing 15% to the total Municipal emissions.

CERs are followed by municipal building and facilities (11%) and municipal solid waste facilities (10%)The 2011 GHGEI followed the same methodology and reporting system as the 2010 GHGEI and these results can therefore be compared with more certainty said Morgan.

“When comparing data from 2010 and 2011 it is evident that there has been an overall increase in Greenhouse Gas emissions in the city from 27.066 MtCO2e in 2010 to 27.649 MtCO2e in 2011. This equates to an overall increase of 2.14% for the year (or 583,114 tCO2e).”

He explained that the bulk of this increase is due to the inclusion of Certified Emissions Reductions (234,506 tCO2e) which was not included in the 2010 GHGEI.

If the CERs are excluded from the comparison, the overall increase of 348 607.8 tCO2e equates to a 1.3% increase.

Morgan explained that the total community emissions equated to 26,097,979 tCO2e.

The community emissions inventory includes GHG emissions associated with activities occurring within the eThekwini municipality’s boundary generated during 2011.

The sector contributing 34% to the total community GHG emissions is the industrial sector through purchased electricity and stationary fuel combustion.

The second major contributor was the on-road and off-road (ground) transport sector contributing 22% to overall community emissions.

The third highest contributor to community emissions was the air and water transport systems sector deriving it emissions from fuel consumption at 17%.

Collectively (ground, air and water), transport sector emissions contribute the most significant proportion of the community emissions, at 39%.

The residential sector is also significant, at 14% or 3,596,951 tCO2e.

The City has initiated various programmes to assist citizens and businesses to reduce carbon emissions.

The Shisa Solar Programme which is facilitated by the municipality provides assistance and vital information to residents when changing from a conventional geyser to a solar water heater geyser.

The use of renewable energies is the answer to reducing carbon emissions and the city is embarking on various pilot projects that will provide alternative energy sources for lighting, cooking and water heating.

The municipality is also in the process of finalising an efficient public transport system that encourages residents to utilise public transport instead of private vehicles thus reducing the number of vehicles on the road resulting in reduction of carbon emissions.

Morgan stated that eThekwini municipality is the first in South Africa to compile a GHG inventory on an annual basis.

The Inventory and the presentation can be downloaded from http://www.durban.gov.za/Resource_Centre/Current%20Projects%20and%20Programmes/energyoffice /Pages/GHG-Inventory.aspx. 

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