Articles Posted in the Green News category

Our man in Africa

February 5, 2009
Posted in Green News

m-van_schalkwykEthiopia’s Prime Minister Meles Zenawi urged African leaders at the African Union summit in Addis Ababa this week to nominate a single representative to lead negotiations on behalf of all 53 African countries at the United Nations climate change conference in Copenhagen in December, Bloomberg reports. If this idea were to fly, could South African environment minister Marthinus van Schalkwyk (pictured right) be the man for the job?

He has made a name for himself at international climate talks as an important voice for developing countries and, thanks to him, South Africa is often described as “punching above its weight” in climate negotiations. But there are doubts about whether he will retain his post in the environment ministry after South Africa’s next elections, which are expected to be held in the next few months. He is said to be highly regarded in international circles and many feel that his skills are needed in the climate negotiations. And, goodness knows, Africa could do with someone who can pack a good punch.

Network set up to monitor Highveld air quality

August 25, 2008
Posted in Green News

Anybody driving into Joburg on a winter’s morning will have seen the air pollution that obscures the city skyline. It’s particularly bad in the mornings and late afternoons and, according to the department of environmental affairs and tourism (DEAT), much of it is caused by residential coal burning and veld fires. The area is also home to many heavy industries.

As part of plans to improve the air quality in the area, DEAT has set up ambient air quality monitoring stations, funded by the Royal Danish Embassy, in Ermelo, Hendrina, Middelburg, Secunda and Witbank. Others will be installed in Balfour, Middelburg, Standerton and Witbank, says DEAT in a media statement. Each monitoring station is equipped with instruments to measure pollutants such as sulphur dioxide, nitrogen dioxide, particulate matter, ozone, benzene, lead and carbon monoxide, as well as mercury. Read more