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3 Steps to a Climate Neutral Business

In 2018, the world’s leading climate scientists warned us that to avert climate change catastrophe we must cut global carbon emissions by 45% by 2030 and become climate neutral by 2050. In order to do this, government and businesses must make unprecedented changes to implement climate adaptation and mitigation strategies.

Becoming a business on a journey to climate neutrality is no longer a matter of simply “doing the right thing”. It has become a necessary way of future-proofing against environmental risks and threats that will negatively affect business and all people around the world.

Many places around the world are starting to declare a climate emergency whilst many large companies around the world are now addressing these threats by investing in short and long term strategies to mitigate environmental and social risk factors.

How to become a climate neutral business

1: Measure

Like a doctor measuring a patient’s pulse, establishing a baseline carbon footprint provides a valuable indicator of possible areas of where your business needs to improve. By identifying the internal carbon cost and the emission “hotspots” across your business, a clear climate strategy can be defined in order to reduce emissions and ultimately save money too.

At Climate Neutral Group, we use the footprinting software solution CO2management which allows you to set up and be in control of a standardised monitoring system to continuously measure and adjust your targets and strategy.

2: Reduce

Setting science-based targets provides companies with a clearly defined pathway to future-proof growth by specifying how much and how quickly greenhouse gas emissions will need to be reduced while ensuring transformational action is aligned with current climate science.

What is a science-based target?
A science-based target is a greenhouse gas emissions reduction target that is in line with the level of decarbonisation required to keep global temperatures below 2 degrees Celsius compared to pre-industrial temperatures, as described in the Fifth Assessment Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC AR5).

Once science-based targets have been set, potential emissions reductions can be identified and a low-carbon transition plan can be developed.

3: Offset

Not all carbon emissions can be eliminated. The remaining unavoidable greenhouse gas emissions can be offset by financing cost-effective low-carbon energy projects which reduce emissions elsewhere.

By offsetting the impact of your business and purchasing the equivalent amount of carbon credits from certified offset projects, you are taking full responsibility for emissions that can’t be eliminated.

Carbon offsetting should not be the only step in a low-carbon strategy and should only be for the emissions that cannot be eliminated.

At climate Neutral Group, we have a number of offsetting projects worth supporting.

How Climate Neutral Group can Help

We are a leading carbon specialists providing carbon management and offsetting services, as well as being an established carbon tax consultant in South Africa.

Contact us to find out how we can assist to become a low carbon and climate neutral business.

How SA companies can use carbon offsets to pay less carbon tax

Written by Franz Rental, originally published on LinkedIn on February 20, 2019

Yesterday, 19 February, the National Assembly passed the long-awaited carbon tax bill, clearing a key hurdle in keeping the measure on track to enter into force 1 June 2019. The bill will now be submitted to the Council of Provinces before it is sent to President Ramaphosa to be signed into law.

Under the Bill, offsets can be used to help companies pay less carbon tax. And these savings can be considerable. Many companies, including the large emitters most impacted by the tax, are not aware that by using carbon offsets they can pay up to 20% less in carbon tax, while at the same time boost their Corporate Social Investment mandate.

MARGINAL VS EFFECTIVE TAX RATE

The Bill will apply a marginal tax of R120 rand/tonne of CO2e on virtually all areas of South Africa’s economy, covering greenhouse gases sources from fossil fuel combustion, fugitive emissions, and industrial processes.

The levy will rise annually by 2% plus inflation until the end of the first phase in 2022, and then align with inflation after that.

However, emitters will initially face an effective tax rate of R6 – R48/tonne based on the suite of tax allowances available and the admissibility of offsets, with some companies able to reduce their tax burdens by as much as 95%.

Seeing that the effective tax rate is only R6 – R48 per tonne many people are under the false impression that offsets need to be priced under this rate in order to pay less carbon tax and therefore using offsets will hardly make a difference in reducing a company’s carbon tax.

But this is not the case, as I will explain below.

CARBON TAX OFFSETS

Carbon offsets, or carbon credits, from projects certified under the CDM, Gold Standard, and Verified Carbon Standard (Verra) will be allowed providing they meet certain criteria.

Some project types have been branded ineligible including HFC-23, N2O adipic acid, nuclear, CCS, and installations that have renewable energy generation capacity in excess of 50 MW.

The regulations also stipulate that projects can only be eligible if they don’t benefit from other government incentive programmes such as the Energy Efficiency Savings Tax Incentive (12L) or the Renewable Energy Independent Power Producers Procurement Programme (REIPPPP).

Carbon offsets generated by activities that are covered under the carbon tax are also not eligible. For example, if a company implements a project that reduces the coal use in their boilers the project activity cannot be registered as a carbon offset project for use under the carbon tax as this project will result in a company paying less carbon tax (i.e. to avoid double counting).

SAVINGS FROM USING CARBON TAX OFFSETS

As mentioned above, the marginal tax rate is R120 / tonne, which means that for those emissions you are taxed on, you pay R120 / t. The effective tax rate is calculated if you divide the R120/t by the % allowances.

So for example, if your company has 1000tCO2 of process emissions you do not have to pay tax on the first 70% (tax free allowance) and therefore you only pay tax on 300t (this is your “taxable emissions”). This means you have to pay R36,000 in carbon tax (300t X 120/t).

The effective tax rate is then calculated as follows:

(R120 / 100) X 30 = R36/t.

This means you are paying R36 / t on the full 1000t (and R120 / t on the 300t). From 2022 the basic tax free allowance of 70% falls away, then you are paying R120 / t on the full 1000t.

In terms of offsets, using the above example, a company would be allowed to use 5% of the total 1000t in offsets (process emissions allows 5% offset use). This would be 50t. If this company buys offsets for, say R60, then they would save R60 / t (R120/t tax rate less R60/t offset price). Their carbon tax saving would be calculated as 50t X R60/t = R3000.

So if this company does not make use of offsets they would pay R36,000 in carbon tax. If they use offsets they only pay R33,000 (R36k – 3k). This is a saving of 8%.

As such it can be clearly seen that even though the company paid R60 / t for the offset (much higher than the R36 / t effective tax rate) they still saved carbon tax.

To conclude, as long as a company purchases offsets for less then the price of the marginal tax rate they will still pay less carbon tax.

Generally, how much carbon tax a company can save by using offsets will depend on:

  • price of the offsets – the lower the price, the higher the savings (but offsets are not free!)
  • percentage offset allowance – combustion emissions allow for 10% offset allowance – hence higher the savings compared to using 5% offset allowance for process and fugitive emissions
  • emissions profile – a company with mostly combustion emissions will save more carbon tax when using offsets compared to a company that has mostly process and/or fugitive emissions (this is due to the fact that combustion emissions have a 60% tax free allowance compared to 70% tax free allowance for process and fugitive emissions).

Due to the considerable tax savings to be had, and the fact that there will be more at least 5 times more offset demand than supply, carbon tax liable companies are advised to develop a carbon offset strategy that addresses the following crucial questions:

  • To purchase offsets, and save tax, or not?
  • Linking offsets to broader company objectives?
  • Linking offsets to CSI / social development programmes?
  • Purchasing a function of price and / or project type?
  • Who will manage this process (internally or outsourced?)
  • When to act?

Climate Neutral Group can help your company lower its carbon tax liability through a robust carbon tax offsetting strategy. We also have a large portfolio of eligible South African carbon offsets thereby maximising your carbon tax savings.

Two Important Dates Not to Miss in 2019

2019 is a landmark year for South Africa with Carbon Tax Regulations coming into effect by the middle of this year. Make sure you are in the know and stay up to date with the upcoming deadlines. If any of the following dates apply to your company, be certain to diarise them and start preparing to ensure you are ready when they do arrive.

31 March: Deadline for Mandatory Green House Gas Reporting

What is Mandatory Green House Gas Reporting?
The National Department of Environmental Affairs gathers information from businesses that have the capacity to exceed a certain green house gas emissions threshold. This is in line with international commitments to update and maintain a National Greenhouse Gas Inventory. At the same time this database provides SARS with information regarding carbon tax liable entities. The reports which are due by 31 March 2019, must be submitted in a prescribed format that differs from conventional corporate calculation methodologies such as GHG Protocol Corporate Standard and ISO14064.

Does it Apply to my business?
Companies are required to report if their installed capacity exceeds the applicable threshold for a specified activity. For example, for energy generation, this is typically 10MW total installed capacity. So if your company has 5 X 2MW coal boilers or 10 X 1MW back up diesel generators, you are above the threshold and have to report.

If you are uncertain whether you are required to submit a Mandatory Green House Gas Report, or if you would like guidance throughout the reporting-process, please do not hesitate to contact us.

1 June: Implementation of Carbon Tax Regulations

What are the Carbon Tax Regulations?
A carbon tax is a fee imposed on greenhouse gas emissions, caused by activities including the combustion of fossil fuels, emissions associated with certain chemical processes and fugitive greenhouse gas emissions. A carbon tax is globally recognized as a core policy-instrument for reducing and eventually eliminating the use of fossil fuels. Finance Minister Tito Mboweni introduced the Carbon Tax Bill in the National Assembly in November 2018 after a culmination of eight years’ worth preparing and stakeholder consultation processes. The bill which is aimed at reducing fossil fuel emissions in South Africa will come into effect on 1 June 2019. Businesses who emit beyond a certain threshold will be forced to implement greenhouse gas mitigation strategies, to engage with carbon offset solutions or pay the tax-rate at R120 per tonne greenhouse gas emitted.

Does it Apply to my Business?
Only companies who are required to submit a Mandatory Green House Gas Report will be liable for carbon tax. Companies that are liable can be awarded relief when purchasing carbon tax offsets. By doing so, a company can pay up to  20% less in carbon tax.

Our carbon tax solutions include a Carbon TaxScan which helps you measure and understand how much carbon tax your business might have to pay, a Carbon TaxCoach which helps your company lower its carbon tax liability, and a wide selection of South African Carbon Offsets.

Take a look at our Carbon Tax Q&A to find out more.

Owners of emission reduction projects with a hidden carbon component should act now to be able to meet the expected demand for offsets under the carbon tax. Do you have a project that you think could generate carbon offsets? Or do you have an existing (CDM) project that you are not sure whether you could trade the offsets under the carbon tax? Find out more about our carbon credit purchases and project development services.

Stay on top of your businesses’ role in these upcoming dates. Contact us to find out how we can assist to ensure that you comply with regulations and become a climate leader.

 

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South African govt proposes painful penalties for emitters that exceed carbon budgets

Original article was written by Mike Szabo  Carbon Pulse,
00:33 on November 30, 2018  /  Last updated at 01:07 on November 30, 2018

Companies that exceed their emissions limits set under South Africa’s upcoming climate laws will be forced to pay a penalty of at least five times the country’s carbon tax.

According to consultancy EcoMetrix Africa, the South African Treasury has floated a plan that would levy a penalty rate of 600 rand/tonne ($43.30) for emitters who surpass their company-level carbon budgets. The penalty is well above the R120 base rate of the country’s pending carbon tax.

South Africa is aiming to harmonise the tax with its proposed carbon budgets for the country’s top emitters, with both sets of proposed measures set to become law next year.

The country’s long-awaited carbon tax is scheduled to be implemented on June 1, 2019, with the carbon budgets imposed under a separate climate change bill starting out next year as voluntary before being made mandatory after 2020.

The budgets will feed into sectoral targets that will help South Africa meet its Paris Agreement pledge to peak its GHGs in 2020-2025, plateau them for a 10-year period from 2025 to 2035, and then cut them from 2036 onwards.

The carbon tax’s launch has been delayed by five months to allow the government to explore what level of penalty would help align the levy with the budgets.

Under the tax, emitters will face an effective rate of R6-48/tonne based on the suite of exemptions, or “allowances,” available and the admissibility of offsets, with some companies able to reduce their tax burdens by as much as 95%.

Carbon Pulse was unable to independently verify the Treasury proposal, but it’s understood that companies that exceed their budgets would face a R600/tonne penalty rate and, according to a separate annexure to the draft carbon tax bill introduced last week, no tax-free allowances would apply.

“This interface option will help to ensure a credible price signal to encourage behaviour change over the medium to long term, emission reduction certainty through a carbon budget, and provide the required regulatory policy certainty,” added the document published Nov. 21.

NO DOUBT

EcoMetrix Africa said officials speaking at a workshop held by the government’s Standing Committee on Finance confirmed that the draft carbon tax bill would be finalised on Dec. 5.

“From the onset it was made clear that there should be no doubt, this bill is going to happen,” the firm said.

“The political drive government demonstrated during this workshop to pass the bill is very strong. The time to act has come for any company that wants to manage and mitigate its exposure under the tax,” added EcoMetrix partner Henk Sa.

The company expects the carbon tax law to be amended to reflect the penalty rate only after the climate change bill has been approved by parliament.

The tax bill’s introduction came a week after the Treasury published new draft regulations to govern the use of offsets against the levy.

The changes are now open for public comment until Dec. 14.

Under the tax bill, companies have an offset usage limit of 5% or 10%, depending on the sector in which they operate.

Sa said he anticipates an over-the-counter (OTC) offset market to develop in the country in the first half of 2019, ahead of the start of the tax.

The proposed rules allow credits from projects certified under the CDM, Gold Standard, and Verified Carbon Standard – now known as Verra – to be used so long as they were generated in South Africa.

The carbon offset system seeks to encourage emission reductions in areas that are not directly covered by the tax, with investment in public transport, agriculture, forestry, and other land-use and waste sectors to be eligible.

FACTFILE:

  • A national carbon tax was first suggested by South Africa in 2010, a year before it hosted the annual UN climate talks. But progress has been slow, with the government only publishing the first draft in Nov. 2015.
  • The tax will affect virtually all areas of South Africa’s economy, covering most stationary and non-stationary sources and applying to fossil fuel combustion, fugitive emissions, and industrial processes.
  • Waste, agriculture, forestry, and other land-use sectors are exempt from paying it or performing MRV until 2022 due to the difficulty in accurately measuring output from those sources.
  • A basic tax-free allowance of 60% is offered to all emitters, with an additional 10% for having process or fugitive emissions.
  • Another variable allowance of up to 10% is available for trade-exposed sectors, with an additional 5% available for above-average performance relating to sectoral benchmarks.
  • Beyond that, a further 5% can be applied by companies who have developed an annual carbon budget and report it to the government.

At Climate Neutral Group we can assist you to gain more insights in your carbon tax liability. We offer a full range of services from advisory to carbon offsets.  Contact our carbon tax specialist Franz Rentel for information franz.rentel@climateneutralgroup.com.

The long-awaited updated carbon offset regulations have been published

The Minister of Finance recently announced the implementation of the carbon tax effective from 1 June 2019. The Draft Carbon Tax Bill makes provision for a carbon offset allowance which provides flexibility to firms to reduce their carbon tax liability by either 5 or 10 per cent of their total greenhouse gas emissions by investing in projects that reduce emissions elsewhere in South Africa.

Following the publication of the Carbon Offsets Paper in 2014 and the Final Carbon Tax Bill in December 2017, the National Treasury today published the new updated (second) Draft Regulation on the Carbon Offset. The Draft Regulation on the Carbon Offset sets out the eligibility criteria for offset projects, and details on the administration and procedure for claiming the allowance.

Click here for the Draft Bill and the the Explanatory Note to the Draft Regulation on the Carbon Offset.

Public comments can be made until the 14th of December 2018.

 

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Carbon Tax in South Africa – Not much time left to prepare …

Written by Silvana Claassen, Senior Carbon Advisor at Climate Neutral Group

National Treasury presented an update on the status of South Africa’s proposed carbon tax on 13 September during public hearings held by the Standing Committee on Finance. Since the release of the Draft Carbon Tax Bill in December last year, stakeholder comments have been collated and considered whilst final amendments to the proposed Bill are being incorporated. The Bill is now ready to be tabled and enactment is anticipated early 2019. It may be that the projected implementation date of 1 January 2019 is not feasible and might be postponed with a few months (given South Africa’s NDC commitments).

The NDC (Nationally Determined Contribution) is a key document outlining South Africa’s minimal commitments to the international community in terms of its contribution to the global effort to prevent greenhouse gas concentrations in the atmosphere exceeding levels that would cause irreversible and unsustainable impacts to the planet. The NDC is based on a number of elements: greenhouse gas emissions reduction targets; an emissions reduction trajectory; time frames; and a policy framework.

Historically, South Africa’s emission reduction trajectory has been relative to a business as usual scenario. But through the NDC, South Africa has moved away from this and adopted an absolute target framework, in accordance with a so-called Peak Plateau Decline (PPD) trajectory. “The time-frames within the PPD trajectory range are 2025 and 2030, in which emissions will be in a range between 398 and 614 MtCO2e” (South Africa’s NDC). To put in perspective: in 2016, South Africa’s annual emissions were 468 MtCO2e (Global Carbon Atlas).

The NDC presents a mix of measures to be deployed in order to achieve the stated pledges. Among the mix of measures there is the carbon tax, carbon budgets, the obligation for emitters to submit emission reduction plans and strategies, as well as mandatory reporting of annual greenhouse gases by companies exceeding pre-defined emissions thresholds. A number of these measures have already been promulgated and have allowed for government to gain thorough insight in South Africa’s sources of greenhouse gas emissions. In turn this insight has enabled the development of an effective carbon tax proposition and the allocation of carbon budgets.

National Treasury and DEA have explicitly stated that in case the envisaged carbon tax implementation date of 1 January 2019 has to be moved, “it will not be moved too late given South Africa’s NDC commitments”. This is not surprising given that the NDC has laid down a five-year period, 2016-2020 to be specific, for the development and implementation of the proposed mix of measures. This is conforming the Paris Agreement timelines: coming into effect in 2020.

The carbon tax has been designed by taking into account a phased approach, so that companies that emit greenhouse gas emissions can take measures to start reducing their carbon footprint or making provision to utilise allowance-mechanisms such as offsetting. By not acting now, companies can face a situation where they will only be able to options available at the time of the carbon tax being fact: paying tax!

Please visit our page; Carbon Tax in a nutshell if you have any more questions about the carbon tax and click here for an overview of our carbon tax service offerings.

Why your energy project should consider the imminent carbon tax emissions market

Original article was written by  Jay Govender and Adriaan van der Merwe.
Cliffe Dekker Hofmeyr   South Africa September 3, 2018. Click here to view full article.

In 1997 South Africa became a party to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (1992) (Convention). Directed at regulating human conduct that causes the emission of gases responsible for climate change (so-called greenhouse gases or “GHG”), the Convention sets binding targets for industrialised countries to reduce their GHG emissions. The Kyoto Protocol (1997), adopted under the Convention, goes further and provides market-based mechanisms intended to assist parties in meeting emission reduction targets.

South Africa’s committed contributions to reduce carbon emissions and to meet its emission targets are set out in the Paris Agreement on Climate Change (2015), which comes into effect in 2020. At a country level the South African government has proposed the introduction of a carbon tax, coupled with carbon offsets, to meet these emission reduction targets.

Carbon Credits

The Kyoto Protocol provides three market-based mechanisms intended to minimise carbon emissions. One of these is the clean development mechanism (CDM). It allows industrialised countries with emission reduction targets to undertake GHG reduction projects in developing countries, and to generate Certified Emission Reductions (CERs). Often referred to as carbon credits, CERs can be traded on international markets and thereby used by industrialised countries to meet their respective targets under the Convention.

The procedure for issuing CERs was determined at the 7th Conference of the Parties to the Convention held at Marrakesh in 2001 (the so-called “Marrakesh Accord”). This established the CDM Executive Board and the rules for CDM. The Marrakesh Accord stipulates a procedure by which the CDM Executive Board ultimately approves (or rejects) a project and issues CERs.

It is a requirement that participating countries must identify a designated national authority (DNA), which must consider applications for CDM projects and certify that they comply with national laws and the international law requirements as part of the process for issuing CERs. South Africa has designated its DNA in regulations made under the National Environmental Management Act, No 107 of 1998 (DNA Regulations). The appointed DNA is the Director-General of the Department of Energy (DoE).

The DNA Regulations grant the DNA powers and impose on it various obligations. These include that the DNA is required to:

  • establish a process for CDM project approval;
  • consider project proponents’ applications and endorse that the project complies with international and national criteria for CDM projects; and
  • issue letters of approval to project proponents in respect of CDM projects that meet the international and national substantial development criteria.

Carbon Tax

Carbon tax is not a new concept in the South African energy industry, with the first explicit carbon tax introduced as far back as 2008 by way of an environmental levy on electricity generation from non-renewable sources above 5MW. This levy is still currently in place.

In 2015 Parliament tabled a draft carbon tax bill (2015 Bill), seeking to price carbon emissions in the form of a tax. The 2015 Bill was the predecessor of the current draft Carbon Tax Bill which was published in December 2017 (Carbon Tax Bill), and was open for public comment until 9 March 2018. In the 2018 budget, the then Minister of Finance, Malusi Gigaba announced that the Carbon Tax Bill would be implemented from 1 January 2019.

The Carbon Tax Bill aims to enable South Africa to meet its required contribution commitments as per the 2015 Paris Agreement on Climate Change, rewarding the efficient use of energy and reduction of greenhouse emissions. The Carbon Tax Bill is structured around the “polluter pays” principle to incentivise firms and consumers to proactively consider the cost of carbon emissions in their production, consumption and investment decisions.

The Carbon Tax Bill provides that carbon tax will be levied on a person that conducts an activity as published by the Minister of Environmental Affairs under the National Environmental Management: Air Quality Act, No 39 of 2004. Electricity production (combustion of fossil fuels, excluding the use of back-up generators) is currently listed as such an activity. The taxpayer of such carbon tax will therefore be the energy producer.

The Carbon Tax Bill proposes that the rate of carbon tax will be R120 per tonne of carbon dioxide. This will be subject to the applicable tax-free allowances as stipulated in s7 to s13 of the Carbon Tax Bill, which are limited to a maximum total allowance per listed activity. For example, in the case of the main activity being electricity and heat production, such as in the case of a coal power generation plant, these tax-free allowances include:

  • a 60% allowance for fossil fuel combustion;
  • a 5% carbon budget allowance; and
  • a 10% carbon offsets allowance (which is discussed in greater detail under Carbon Offsets below).

The maximum total tax-free allowance for electricity and heat production is 75%. This would mean that if the coal power plant in the above example utilise all available allowances, it will pay carbon tax on 25% of carbon dioxide produced.

A taxpayer’s carbon tax liability is calculated by reducing the tax base by the allowances provided for above, and then multiplying that amount by the rate of carbon tax. A simplified version of the formula is as follows:

X = (E – D – S) x (1 – C) x R

Where:

X = the amount of carbon tax;

(E – D – S) = greenhouse gas emissions as calculated per the provisions of the Carbon Tax Bill;

C = percentage allowances determined in s7 to s13 of the Carbon Tax Bill; and

R = rate of carbon tax.

According to the National Treasury and the South African Revenue Service, as set out in the Draft Carbon Tax Bill 2017: Response Document, the existing environmental levy for electricity generation is currently fulfilling dual objectives of promoting energy efficiency and indirectly pricing GHG emissions. The document states that to effectively price GHG emissions and to ensure that no double taxation occurs, a credit or reduction of the environmental levy for electricity generation is proposed to be implemented upon the introduction of the carbon tax.

Carbon Offsets

Draft Carbon Offsets Regulations (Regulations) was published on 20 June 2016 but apply to the 2015 Carbon Tax Bill. Updated regulations have not been published pursuant to the Carbon Tax Bill.

The Regulations aim to provide an offset mechanism where a carbon offset may be claimed to enable a reduction of carbon tax liability. An offset will be allowed to a taxpayer for CERs from the furtherance of an approved project. Approved projects include projects certified under the CDM, Verified Carbon Standard or Gold Standard verification mechanisms, or a project that complies with another standard approved by the Minister of Energy. The approved project must be a project that is wholly undertaken in South Africa, and in respect of an activity that is not subject to carbon tax.

An allowance for an offset that is carried on, on or after 1 January 2017 can only be utilised for a certain duration of time after the offset is generated, depending on the type of approved project. The Regulations define an offset as “a measurable avoidance, reduction or sequestration of carbon dioxide equivalent (CO2e) emissions in respect of an approved project”. For instance, a CDM project’s offsets may only be utilised for seven years, which period may be extended with two periods of seven years, or for 10 years (which period may not be extended).

The Regulations therefore allow a party to accumulate offsets from an activity that is not subject to carbon tax, which can then be used to reduce carbon tax liability for an activity which is subject to carbon tax. For example, carbon offsets earned under a renewable energy generation project can be used to reduce the carbon tax liability of a coal power generation plant, limited to the 10% carbon offset allowance set out in the Carbon Tax Bill.

Examples of activities that will accumulate carbon offsets include energy efficiency in the residential and commercial sector, energy efficiency in buildings, community-based and municipal energy efficiency and renewable energy, fuel-switching projects, and electricity transmission and distribution efficiency.

The explanatory note to the Regulations provides that it will have to be assessed whether carbon offsets will be traded via over-the-counter or auctioning methods, or even whether a South African trading platform will be established.

The Regulations, however, limit the projects that can accumulate offsets and specifically exclude projects that benefit from other government incentives, as this could lead to double counting of emission reduction benefits. Projects benefitting from the Energy Efficiency Savings Tax Incentive as well as projects with power purchase agreements under the Electricity Regulations on New Generation Capacity (New Gen Regs) -such as independent power producers under the Renewable Energy IPP Procurement Programmes (IPPs) – can therefore not accumulate carbon offsets that can be used to reduce carbon tax liability. Carbon offsets can, however, be claimed by other renewable energy generators that do not have power purchase agreements pursuant to the New Gen Regs.

Conclusion

What is evident from the above is that the intricate legal framework surrounding carbon emissions in South Africa will present a myriad of opportunities to contribute to emission reduction targets and create a market for carbon emissions. Electricity generators should therefore ensure that that they adequately position themselves so as to derive the maximum benefit from the proposed legislative interventions. Importantly, carbon tax risk should also be taken into account in the development of a power project attracting such tax.

At Climate Neutral Group we can assist you with the development of your carbon project. We guide project developers from the project’s inception stage to feasibility assessments, verification processes, and all the way the issuance of carbon credits. Contact our Senior Carbon Advisor Silvana Claassen for information silvana.claassen@climateneutralgroup.com.

Voluntary Carbon Market Insights: 2018 Outlook and First-Quarter Trends

Original article was written by  Kelley Hamrick and Melissa Gallant.
Forest-Trends.org Jul 27, 2018, Click here to view full article and download the report.

Since trading of voluntary carbon offsets first took off in the late 2000’s, voluntary carbon projects have helped to reduce, sequester, or avoid over 437.1 MtCO2e–equivalent to notconsuming over one billion barrels of oil. These projects are supported by companies, individuals and governments purchasing carbon offsets, whose growing demand resulted in a record-high of 42.8 MtCO2e retired in 2018.

Yet the carbon markets landscape is changing fast. New compliance markets, in the form of domestic carbon pricing schemes, international trading through the Paris Agreement, or the international airline industry’s CORSIA program, may generate unprecedented levels of demand for carbon offsets. How those markets are designed and implemented will determine whether voluntary carbon markets thrive, adapt, or diminish.

To reflect the rapidly changing carbon markets landscape this year, we are excited to announce our new mini-report, Voluntary Carbon Market Insights: 2018 Outlook and First-Quarter Trends, that examines the key trends that have emerged in the first quarter (Q1) of 2018. In this report, we present:

  • Key findings from the last decade of voluntary carbon project activity.
  • New insights about 2018 first-quarter trends of voluntary carbon offset issuances, transactions, and retirements.
  • Upcoming policy decisions that might radically change the voluntary carbon markets in upcoming years – including an extended analysis of CORSIA.

 

Africa sees 1st carbon neutral brewery amid climate concerns

Original article was written by Neil Shaw, associated press. 
Darling, South Africa — Jul 21, 2018, 5:24 AM ET, Click here to view full article.

A South African brewery is said to be the first in Africa to go carbon-neutral as more businesses across the continent adjust to climate change, and as consumers become more careful about the products they buy.

Darling Brewery, in a village near Cape Town, decreased its carbon footprint by using water and energy more efficiently — then brought it to zero in April by purchasing carbon credits at a reforestation project in Zimbabwe.

The brewery’s overhaul comes as South Africa’s Cape region emerges from an extreme drought that saw the city of Cape Town, population 4 million, rationing water and warning of a “Day Zero” when taps would run dry. The crisis has eased amid water conservation efforts.

“I don’t think a lot of people understand what carbon-neutral means or what impact all the businesses around us are having on the environment,” said the brewery’s owner, Kevin Wood. “The damage being done by climate change has a lot to do with our carbon footprint. Just look at the extreme weather here in the Western Cape.”

Greenhouse gas emissions have damaging environmental impacts such as global warming, acid rain and ozone layer damage, according to the sustainability consultant who conducted a greenhouse gas audit on the brewery, Andre Harms.

Darling Brewery was already known for raising environmental issues via the labels on the 17 beers it produces, educating drinkers about Africa’s threatened wildlife.

Now the labels tell drinkers about the brewery’s carbon-neutral status. “They’ll start connecting the dots and change their consumption habits to more environmentally friendly products,” Wood said.

Darling Brewery opened in 2010 as the craft beer sector exploded in South Africa. When the brewery opened there were 30 others and today there are around 215, according to beer journalist Lucy Corne.

She said craft brewery consumers are more likely to be aware of their carbon footprint than regular beer drinkers, as craft beer is a niche product that only South Africa’s middle class and above can afford.

“I think what Darling Brewery has done is really great for the industry,” Corne said, adding that the shift to carbon-neutral could get other breweries thinking about sustainability measures. “They’re leading the way.”

Globally there are only a handful of carbon-neutral breweries, experts say.

Sustainability consultant Franz Rentel confirmed that Darling Brewery is the first carbon-neutral one in Africa. He said he thinks more companies will follow its example.

South Africa will introduce a carbon credit tax by January, which will affect large emitters and is expected to make products from carbon-neutral companies “the cheaper option,” Rentel said.

As more countries put such taxes into place, large breweries could move toward carbon neutrality as well.

Darling Brewery’s brew master, Rene du Toit, said going carbon-neutral is not just about doing the right thing. “A lot of the measures you put in place to reduce your carbon footprint . make economic sense in the long run: You’re paying less for your water, you’re paying less for your energy, you’re putting out less solid waste.”

Sitting at one of Cape Town’s trendy bars, beer lover Nicole McCreedy said choosing to drink a carbon-neutral Darling Brewery beer is about supporting a progressive South African initiative.

“We’ll see far more of (that) globally, I hope,” she said.

Also interested to be a front-runner and make your products climate neutral? Contact us today via franz.rentel@climateneutralgroup.com and receive more information. We will be happy to assist you and walk this journey together with you.

 

Nishanthi Lambrichs, carbon advisor, carbon advisor south africa, carbon tax, climate neutral group, carbon tax, south africa carbon tax, south african carbon tax, implementation carbon tax, south africa carbon tax

CNG in the Event Greening Forum spotlights

The Event Greening Forum interviewed Nishanthi Lambrichs, CNG carbon advisor and Programme Manager for GreenDreams and GreenSeat. Both initiatives were developed by us to help the accommodation and the travel sectors, respectively, take action on climate change.

Q. WHEN AND WHY DID YOU, PERSONALLY, START TO DEVELOP AN AWARENESS ABOUT SUSTAINABILITY, AND A DESIRE TO CHAMPION IT THROUGH YOUR WORK?

Growing up in a country where it’s the norm to separate your waste, cycle everywhere and take public transport on a daily basis, creates a certain awareness for green living and sustainability. Moving to South Africa was a wake-up call in many ways. I worked in the event industry in the Netherlands and the sustainability aspects are important topics on the agenda. When I moved to South Africa, I realised that there is still a lot of work that needs to be done. This inspired me to get involved in the sustainability sector; help set the standard and raise awareness in order to create change.

Q. WHAT IS YOUR ROLE AT CLIMATE NEUTRAL GROUP SOUTH AFRICA, AND WHAT DO YOU LOVE MOST ABOUT IT?

I’m a carbon advisor at CNG and mainly focus on assisting companies within the hospitality industry to gain insight into their carbon footprint, enabling them to reduce and offset their emissions. Our GreenDreams initiative helps hotels, B&Bs and guesthouses in South Africa put measures in place to take responsibility for their environmental impact. [You can read an article on The Maslow’s success with this programme here.] I’m also responsible for GreenSeat: our carbon initiative for the travel sector (we would like to refer to it as the boarding pass to climate neutral flying). We offer several unique tools that help businesses measure, change and finally green their business travel habits.

And, last but not least, there’s Climate Neutral Events. The first step we take to create a carbon neutral event would be to get insights into your event’s carbon footprint in order to set a baseline. The second step is to set targets and reduce your carbon footprint. And, because we, unfortunately, can’t reduce the footprint to zero carbon emissions, investing in offsets is a great way to reduce your climate impact. Assisting companies during this journey and making this world a little greener is what motivates me to go to work every morning.

Q. DOES CLIMATE NEUTRAL OFFSET ITS OWN CARBON FOOTPRINT, AND IF SO, HOW? 

Yes, we do offset our own carbon footprint with a basket of various Gold Standard projects: Biogas Tanzania, Kenya and Cambodia.

Q. DO YOU HAVE A FAVOURITE CARBON OFFSET PROJECT YOU’D LIKE TO TELL US ABOUT?

There are currently two projects within our portfolio that I really like. The Wonderbag and, our latest addition, Boreholes in Africa. The Wonderbag is a non-electric heat-retention cooker that allows food that has been brought to the boil by conventional methods to continue to cook for up to 12 hours without using additional energy usage. The Wonderbag offset has significant sustainable development benefits. Firstly, the program creates employment in South Africa, where the bags are used in large numbers. Secondly, field surveys indicate that users of the bags have reduced fuel bills and finally, there is published evidence that reduced consumption of fossil fuels drives down illnesses caused by fumes, smoke, and soot.

The Boreholes in Africa initiative operates in Uganda, Rwanda, Malawi, and Eritrea. Here, like anywhere else in the world, clean drinking water is vitally important. Offsetting 1 tonne of CO2 translates into 1.405 litres of clean drinking water for rural households. I think this is a great offset project, especially since access to water is one of the highest threats climate change poses.

Q. IF YOU COULD WAVE A MAGIC WAND AND CHANGE ONE THING ABOUT THE SA EVENTS INDUSTRY TO MAKE IT MORE SUSTAINABLE, WHAT WOULD THAT ONE THING BE?

I find it difficult to pin this down to just one thing, as there are still so many aspects we need to work on. Education and creating awareness for what we try to accomplish is very important though. People need to get a better understanding of what will happen if we don’t take action because we are destroying our beautiful planet if we continue like this.

Transport is an important topic as well, especially since people in South Africa are so used to driving by themselves in their own car to events etc. Of course, safety is playing an important role in this, but organizing more shared transport for events would be a great start. On top of that a lot of people are flying in from different cities, therefore, it would be great to make flight offsetting the norm.

Personally, I’m big on plastic, we should really stop using it, and make conscious decisions to do so as event organizers. For example no straws, but supply bamboo straws instead. At the end of the day, it is better to start with something small, rather than doing nothing at all.