Cape Town - Each person in the Western Cape generates more greenhouse gas than the average South African – and more than individuals in Brazil, India and China.
The province generates 8.4 tons of greenhouse gas a person – on a par with developed European nations.
It also means we use more energy than the rest of the country to produce the same contribution to GDP.
This was one of the findings given in the State of Environment Report released by the provincial Department of Environmental Affairs and Development Planning. The report, released every five years, shows the overall health of the province by focusing on key indicators.
The Western Cape fared poorly in climate change, oceans and coasts, ecosystems and fresh water. Air quality has not changed, while the province has improved in waste management and in human settlements.
Piet van Zyl, head of the department, said the report was a “wake-up call to work harder” in certain areas.
Although oceans and coasts sustained several sectors of the provincial economy, large areas of the Garden Route coast and West Coast are endangered or critically endangered because of pollution, overexploitation and “general disturbance”.
Regarding water, demand exceeds supply in the province, particularly in agriculture.
Energy consumption in the province grew from 247 742 000 gigajoules in 2004 to 270 887 000 GJ in 2009. This is equivalent to the total energy consumption of Zambia.
The Western Cape is ahead in providing sanitation, electricity and refuse removal. Only in water supply to dwellings is the province behind, with Gauteng and the Free State ahead. There was an increase in the percentage of households with access to tap water between 1996 and 2011, and 99 percent of homes have access to piped water.
Water quality has improved, ranking second-best in the government’s Blue Drop certification, and best in terms of Green Drop certification for sewerage treatment.
Access to electricity increased from 88.1 percent in 2001 to 93.4 percent in 2011. More than 90 percent of households have flush toilets and more than 91 percent are reached by municipal waste removal services. - Cape Times