UK to fund SA carbon trading experiment

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Britain will grow funding for a plan to help coal-rich South Africa develop a carbon trading market in an attempt to rein in its rising greenhouse gas emissions. The British High Commission in Pretoria said last week that it would fund a pilot programme for emissions trading from next year to help firms prepare for a carbon tax of R120 a ton expected to come into force in 2016. The grant’s value was not disclosed. The launch of the local carbon tax, which would apply to major emitters such as ArcelorMittal South Africa, Eskom and Sasol, was delayed by a year to allow more time to plan and consult with stakeholders. Earlier this year the government said major emitters would be allowed to use carbon offsets, which could be generated by investment in domestic or possibly regional clean energy sources, to help meet their tax obligations. The UK’s grant, awarded through its prosperity fund, will go to Promethium Carbon based in Johannesburg for a second time. Last year it was selected to conduct a preliminary study on whether a carbon offset market could ease costs of the tax. – Reuters

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