Carbon tax might be unavoidable, but it shouldn’t be a surprise
22 January 2020 | KZN Business and IndustrialNews
Local challenges require local solutions, especially for global problems like climate change. Because we are the world’s 14th largest emitter of carbon dioxide, South Africa has a pressing responsibility to drive a positive response to climate change by shifting to a lower-carbon economy.
That’s according to Yasmine Miemiec, Managing Director at 5inc, who said now was the time to get carbon analysis and foot printing done and to get prepared. “Carbon tax might be unavoidable, but it doesn’t have to be a surprise.
“Instead of resisting these developments, businesses should put aside their concern about the application and calculation of their carbon tax liability that arises from the Carbon Tax Act which came into effect on 1 June2019, and put their attention into reducing their carbon output whilst tightening up their ‘value chain’ to optimise costs,” she said.
Francois du Plessis, Operations Director at EDS Systems, concurred, adding, “Analytics tools can assist organisations by consolidating emissions data, factoring in the legislative allowances and deliver a tax liability amount payable. This significantly simplified carbon tax liability calculations”
In order to achieve the goal of 33% reduction in emissions relative to the baseline by 2035, the Carbon Tax Act incentivises change by demanding that certain industries - like cement production, mining, fuel production and the like – to pay a carbon tax if their activities result in emissions above a certain threshold.
"While there is no blanket tax on carbon emissions, the Carbon Tax Act envisages a phased approach to change - with two phases running from 2019 to the end of 2022, and onward,” Miemiec said.
She urged South African companies to embrace a carbon-conscious mindset as soon as possible to fully utilise the first phase of the Act to reduce their emissions in order to effectively reduce their tax liability in the next. From2023 onwards, the tax rate is likely to increase while the allowances fallaway.
Du Plessis said that carbon tax liability analytics tools would enable industry players to have an accurate picture of their carbon footprint and visualise their emission sources. “This will support companies to comply by simplifying the process, giving them visibility of their financial standing from a carbon tax perspective across the entire organisation,” he said.
Intended to reduce the administrative burden of compliance measurement and reporting, analytics tools are designed for local conditions taking into account all the relevant regulatory considerations and eliminating the guesswork from compliance.
He said that combined with the right human resources training, such a tool can be the perfect vehicle for organisations to move beyond paying lip service to corporate social and environmental obligations of mandatory reporting.
“South African businesses should hasten to explore ways in which to understand their impact on the environment, explore alternative energy sources and examine all possible carbon reduction avenues,” Du Plessis said.
Healthcare in world’s largest economies ‘accounts for 4%’ ofglobal emissions
CO2 emissions from healthcare, in the world’s largest economies, account for about 5% of their national carbon footprints, according to anew study.
While healthcare emissions have rarely been assessed in isolation, the analysis suggests that in most countries they are only surpassed by those from the heaviest polluting sectors, related to energy, transport and construction.
The research found that the combined emissions from hospitals, health services and the medical supply chain across the OECD group of market-based economies, as well as China and India, make up around 4% of the global total. This is a larger share than either aviation or shipping.
In their new paper, published in Environmental ResearchLetters, a team led by scientists at the Potsdam Institute forClimate Impact Research inGermany present the first comparable estimates of healthcare-related CO2emissions for these countries.
Climate change and medicine are inextricably linked, with rising global temperatures associated with everything from the spread of infectious diseases to the impact of dangerous weather events. Scientists have described this interplay as “the major threat of the 21st century” to human health.
According to the authors, not only does their analysis highlight healthcare itself as a “significant cause” of the emissions driving these changes, it also reveals the potential to make key improvements that not only cut emissions, but could also improve public health.
To read the full article visit carbonbrief.org
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