On 3 April 2017, the South African Minister of Environmental Affairs Ms Bomo Edith Edna Molewa gazetted the National Greenhouse Gas (GHG) Emission Reporting Regulations under the National Environmental Management: Air Quality Act.
According to the Department of Environmental Affairs (DEA), the GHG Emission Reporting Regulations aim to introduce a single national reporting system for the transparent reporting of GHG emissions, which will be used to update and maintain a National Greenhouse Gas Inventory, which in turn will be used to support policymaking and will assist South Africa in meeting its international obligations under the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change.
The implications of these regulations for your business are potentially substantial, depending on your company’s current GHG inventory profile and your company’s GHG management and reporting system. According to ERM Technical Director, Thapelo Letete, the regulations require immediate action of companies with activities that exceed certain thresholds, and certain changes to the way in which companies are used to calculating and reporting their GHG emissions under voluntary reporting programmes.
The regulations identify two categories of data-providers: “Category A data providers, which are companies with operational control over activities that exceed certain thresholds outlined in Annexure 1 of the regulations; and Category B data-providers, including public bodies and research facilities that hold GHG emission data which the department may request in writing,” says Letete.
“Businesses are advised to determine whether their activities exceed the thresholds with immediate effect and, in cases where the thresholds are exceeded, register the affected facilities. Registration is required by 3 May 2017 or within 30 days of commencing the activity,” he adds.
Letete said that companies are required to report the GHG emissions and activity data for the preceding calendar year for all the facilities registered under these regulations by 31 March yearly, with the first round of reporting due on 31 March 2018 for the 2017 calendar year. This will have implications for companies who currently do not currently report calendar year data through other means, such as the Carbon Disclosure Project.
The regulations state that failure to comply and providing misleading or false information is a criminal offence. “I would recommend that companies consult with the experts in the field for assistance with responding to the requirements of these regulations,” Letete concludes.