eThekwini Municipality launches carbon inventory

Submitted by: Amanda Botes, Thursday, November 10, 2011

eThekwini Municipality launched its Carbon Inventory for the 2010 year at a public event on the 9th of November 2011. The inventory revealed that over 27 million tCO2e was produced by the eThekwini Municipality as a whole in 2010, and that 4% of these emissions comes from the municipality itself. The inventory details that the highest emitters in eThekwini are from the transport and industry sectors, and the highest source of emissions is from the generation of electricity.

The 2010 eThekwini Carbon Inventory was compiled using standard methodology for cities developed by ICLEI (Local Governments for Sustainability) to allow for comparison of inventories between cities. The approach divides the inventory into two sub-inventories; a government inventory, and, a broader community inventory. Scope 1, 2 and 3 emissions have been included in the inventory. The 2010 inventory will be used as a baseline, and inventories for the city will be now be compiled annually.

The compilation of a baseline Carbon Inventory by eThekwini highlights the areas of highest emissions and will assist with the development of targeted reduction strategies and feed in to a climate change strategy that is being planned for the city in 2012.

The eThekwini Municipality asked that all sectors start to think of ways to reduce their emissions so that eThekwini’s emissions can be reduced.  At a national level the South African government has committed to reducing carbon emissions growth to 34% below current expected levels by 2020 and this requires all South African citizens and businesses to reduce their emissions.

What can an organisation do to help reduce a city’s emissions?

First off, by compiling a Carbon Inventory, an organisation can become aware of the amount of emissions that they are producing and from which areas they are being produced. This will help to target specific reduction strategies in the correct areas.

Secondly, responsibility for conducting a Carbon Inventory should be assigned to staff members so that it remains a priority for the organisation in the future. Top management should be involved in the process to ensure buy-in.

Thirdly, once an inventory is produced a set of reduction strategies, with targets should be prepared so that emissions can be reduced.

And, lastly, annual monitoring and evaluation of the targets set must not be neglected.

Amanda Botes