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Mantashe opposes coal ban for climate aid

Rich nations shouldn’t force SA to ban new coal-power projects and impose other conditions as a requirement for funding to help reduce its environmental footprint.
Image: Waldo Swiegers

Rich nations shouldn’t force South Africa to ban new coal-power projects and impose other conditions as a requirement for funding to help reduce its environmental footprint, the country’s energy minister said.

Gwede Mantashe last month skipped a meeting with climate envoys from the UK, US, Germany, France and the European Union, where an initial amount of almost $5 billion in concessional loans and grants was discussed. South Africa’s environment and public enterprises ministers attended the talks, as did the deputy finance minister.

The envoys aim to reach an emissions-reduction deal with South Africa that could be announced at the COP26 climate talks that begin in Glasgow later this month and serve as a model for other countries seeking to transition to green energy.

“They must not give us conditions, they are developed countries,” Mantashe said in an interview on Tuesday. “We are a developing economy, they must talk to our program.”

Mantashe has repeatedly stressed security of power supply as his priority, promoting coal, nuclear and gas as sources of generation to replace old coal-fired plants. South Africa is being subjected to a record year of blackouts, which are implemented to prevent a total collapse of the grid when the state power utility can’t meet demand.

The country is the world’s 12th-biggest emitter of greenhouse gases, with wind and solar energy currently accounting for only about 6% of supply and coal more than 80%.

Mantashe’s attitude is seen as putting him at odds with President Cyril Ramaphosa, who in a letter to the nation this week spoke of the need to cut emissions and win climate aid. The consequences of not doing so will ultimately harm South Africa’s ability to trade, as tariffs could be imposed on carbon-heavy goods, the president said.

Rushing into renewables at the expense of coal can have adverse consequences, such as the power outages currently being seen in China, India and the UK, Mantashe said.

Careful transition

“If we move like pendulum from one extreme to another we are going to be in the same situation ourselves,” he said. “We must have a clear program. We must navigate the transition carefully, in an organised way.”

Mantashe defended the country’s 2019 energy blueprint, which allows for the development of 1 500 megawatts of new coal capacity. This, he said, will allow South Africa to experiment with new technologies that may cut emissions when the fuel is burnt.

“If we discover that they are useful then we can increase it,” he said. “We are not saying use the current technology.”

That blueprint also envisions the development of 3 000 megawatts of gas-fired generation. That ambition was given impetus by TotalEnergies SE’s 2019 announcement of a discovery of about 1 billion barrels of oil equivalent at its Brulpadda field off the country’s south coast.

“It’s a game-changer,” Mantashe said. “We are making sizable discoveries of gas. We must use them.”

Environment Minister Barbara Creecy and the country’s two biggest coal users, Eskom and Sasol, have said gas will be needed as a transition fuel while renewable energy is ramped up. The government recently increased its stake in a pipeline that brings the fuel in from Mozambique, and Mantashe has called for quicker steps to allow the importation of liquefied natural gas.

© 2021 Bloomberg

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How about imposing embargos and sanction against those that continue to spew out poisonous coal based gases.
The world supporting socialism is quite good at this as history has shown.

Can coal burning not have much reduced pollution?

How about making new limits on coal gas pollutants?

One thing that is unfair : the rich nations built their economies at enormous environmental cost and have changed to low energy intensity services economies. Now they want to import cheap barbie dolls and car parts from the developing world yet prescribe more expensive clean coal, that we must implement using their systems for which they will lend us money.

The should pay in capex, not lend money. They can fund that with a carbon tax on the goods their economies import.

I would not expect anything else from this backward communist! This strategy is straight out of The Communist Manifesto of Karl Marx and Frederick Engels.

First, these central planners appoint the maximum number of political supporters as employees of the state-owned monopoly. Then, they pay them as much as possible and allow them to work as little as possible. Then, they pass on the costs to the captured consumers, while they burden consumers with the side-effects of incompetence and inefficiencies.

This process has a name – The Labour Theory of Value. This communist idea is based on the fact that under socialism, consumers have zero rights and no value, whereas workers have all the rights and hold all the value.

The Labour Theory of Value bankrupted the mighty Soviet Union, caused the Chernobyl explosion, and led to the fall of the Berlin wall. Eskom is our Chernobyl. Luckily for us, coal is not as radioactive as Strontium-90 and Caesium-137.

Not a fan of Gwede Mantashe …but I agree with him here

Renewables from solar panels, produced with up to 50% of coal as a base component. No coal.no panels..no solar energy

Wind based power ..avg life span of a wind mill <10 years
Visual pollution is now becoming a major concern as forest are cut down in Germany to erect thousands of these wind mills

The Netherlands are starting to realise not just the visual pollution but the constant reverberating of noise that is now permeating into homes 24/7

The UK has hundreds of "dead" windmills in the North Sea awaiting removal

The upside of coal..cheap energy 24/7. By products essential to human life

Germany now has Noord Stream 2. Noord stream was not enough gas supply

Manufacturing requires coal in all its forms from steel, to plastics, to cement to pharma…naming a few

Lastly …the new world order is transitioning from the western economies to the Emerging such as India, Pakistan and China …good luck telling them their people can just erect windmills to satisfy socialist greens in the west

Well, I don’t know if Coal would be the answer. Since Greenhouse gasses have caused an increase in sea level at my local beach spot. the long sandy beaches are no more.

Or maybe it could be something else. I don’t know.

…. What caused yr sealine to drop to the current level it is now from what it was a million years ago??? Was coal stations responsible for that aswell???

End of comments.

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