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Will SA achieve "zero emission economy" by 2050?

SA needs R3 trillion to become a net zero emissions economy - That’s according to a report by the National Business Initiative (NBI), Business Unity South Africa (BUSA) and the Boston Consulting Group (BCG). The Power Sector Decarbonisation Report looked into ways for South Africa to decarbonise its economy by 2050, and was published days after a UN climate change paper raised alarm over the “irreversible” impact of climate change. 

What it means to become "net zero emission economy"?

There are gases which are released into the atmosphere on daily basis. This gases are named greenhouse effects. Mostly consist of carbon monoxide and so forth. These gases are released into the atmosphere from manufacturing companies, motor cars,chemical emmisions, exhaust smoke even deodorants as they all consist of carbon.

These gases plays a major role in impact of climate changes. Their emmisions if ever they become excessively high, they can destroy the Ozone layer of the earth. Uncontrolled, they can have an impact in changes of devastating unstable weather also can lead to acid rains. What is "acid rains?" we'll get to that later.

"Net Zero" means the balance maintained by removing green house gases from the atmosphere. By removal of gases into the atmosphere means the whole process is now called net zero.

The UK became the first country to set a target of reaching net zero emmision by 2050. Now it's great news that South Africa is also setting up the same target even with a struggling economy. Meaning UK is now on set to avoid acid rain (the rain filled with harmful gases that can damage plants) and hot weather's that can escalate to wild fires.

Can South Africa reach net zero emmision by 2050?

The target to reach net zero emmision economy is heavily taken by South Africa. It is unlikely for South Africa to reach it's target due to a certain resource the country still rely upon. South Africa still rely on coal for industrial purposes. Coal is also one of the hazardous substances contributing to greenhouse gases.

77% of South African energy comes from coal. Eskom uses coal powered stations to supply 90% electricity across South Africa. The mountainous countries use hydro-powered electricity.

As Eskom has been under pressure with funds in recent years, the idea of using different method to supply electricity accross the country has seemed to have been abodoned or rather gone quiet and silent.

The process to eliminate coal, gas and oil is quite expensive. Even though we as citizens have been advised to upgrade to solar energy to release pressure endured by Eskom, we still find it as not an option, only few in million make use of solar panels.

The invention of solar power plant/panels was to minimise the gas emissions from power factories. The other new option is that of Hydro power plant project. Although it costly, but is still is an option to save the world and neutralize climate. Other countries are on this mission, why are we late to start?

The economy of South Africa is also taking a heavy strain since the pandemic. To raise R3 trillion before 2050 will definitely be a task the country could ever undertake. Will they reach their goal on time? Let me know below.

Thank you for sharing.

Full report here:


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BUSA Boston Business Unity South Africa SA UN


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