World Wide Fund for Nature SA low-carbon frameworks programme manager Louise Naudé said: “Shifting our electricity supply to renewables at a rapid rate yields a lot of emission reductions in one fell swoop.” Photo: Max Rossi/Reuters
World Wide Fund for Nature SA low-carbon frameworks programme manager Louise Naudé said: “Shifting our electricity supply to renewables at a rapid rate yields a lot of emission reductions in one fell swoop.” Photo: Max Rossi/Reuters

Vital for organisations to build towards a carbon neutral economy by 2050

By Sukaina Ishmail Time of article published Jan 6, 2021

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Cape Town - Every new year of moving closer towards the Paris Climate Agreement, organisations are expected to become more innovative with their actions to achieve a net carbon neutral economy by 2050.

World Wide Fund for Nature SA low-carbon frameworks programme manager Louise Naudé said: “Net zero will take everyone doing everything possible in all sectors. Shifting our electricity supply to renewables at a rapid rate yields a lot of emission reductions in one fell swoop.”

She said there are high-emitting businesses for whom a shift to a low-carbon economy would be a risk. Many of these businesses are well-informed and acting to lower South Africa’s emissions as they re-engineer business models to the best extent possible.

Unfortunately, there are still the businesses whose interests do not coincide with those of South African society and the economy.

“A driver for companies to get themselves up to speed is the increasing requirements from investors and lenders to evaluate a company’s exposure to climate change and low-carbon transition risks,” Naudé said.

Alliance for Climate Action South Africa (Acasa), which is a network of committed organisations working together to collectively achieve a net zero-carbon economy, has recently made a declaration to produce plans that will show how they will achieve net-zero emissions by 2050, individually and working with others. They will also use their influence to advocate for policies that support an economy-wide transition to #ZeroCarbon2050.

Acasa said: “Achieving net-carbon neutrality for the South African economy by 2050 requires collaboration between stakeholders in business, government and civil society to ensure the transition from the status quo is just. While the economy is heavily based on fossil fuels, we are also facing a worsening economic recession that has been exacerbated by the Covid-19 pandemic.”

They said climate ambitions have been ratcheted up internationally at an incredible pace in the last two years while increasing climate ambitions taking place in South Africa have also increased.

“The balance we need to strike is in ensuring the conceptualisation and transition to a net-carbon neutral economy is just and that economic opportunity unlocked is inclusive and environmentally sustainable,” Acasa said.

Cape Argus

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