JOHANNESBURG, July 9 (Xinhua) -- The South African government on Tuesday called on the compatriots from all walks of life to reduce green house emissions to protect the planet.
The National Treasury's Deputy Director-General Ismail Momoniat said this on Tuesday at the M&G Webber Wentzel carbon tax forum in Johannesburg.
"It makes sense now to move to renewable energy. Compared to coal and other sources, it is best and cheaper. We need to step up our efforts to educate South Africans and give them the facts on climate change," said Momoniat.
He called on business, trade unions, civil society and the youth to take part in measures to mitigate against climate change to save the planet.
South African government introduced carbon tax from June 1, 2019. The tax requires companies to register their emissions and also pay carbon tax in relation to the greenhouse gas emissions.
"We need compliance measures to go with tax to achieve our climate change measures. It is an effort to reduce environmentally harmful emissions by implementing the polluter-pays-principle for large emitters. We are using the tax not for revenue collection but to change our behavior," said Momoniat.
He called on the business sector to look at opportunities presented by the transition from dirty to clean energy, claiming that "small and medium scale enterprises should look at the opportunities or innovative measures they can put in place to benefit from this transition. This should not be looked at as a challenge but opportunity."
Gina Downes, chief adviser of environmental economics in Eskom, said they are working on transition to clean energy. She pointed out that its not an overnight thing but they have an integrated strategy to shift to clean energy.
Business Unity South Africa (BUSA) environment and energy policy manager Jarredine Morris said they support government's effort to reduce green house emission, noting that the green house emission need a collaborative effort and they continue to engage with government on the issue.