Editors note

Capturing carbon emissions

Tracee photo_opt.jpeg
Following the commitments that were received from various international countries to reduce carbon emissions and find sustainable ways to mitigate the effects of global warming, representatives of 32
countries came together in Bonn, Germany, earlier in May to reinforce their roles as players in United Nations climate talks that happened in November last year in Durban.

What arose out of these talks, according to media reports, is that there is a greater urgency and a more sustainable and visible impact to act on the commitments made.

Which brings me to this next point: one has to wonder what kind of long-term results will occur if we manage to capture carbon gases and store them in deep geological spaces underground.

While it seems a good idea to ‘capture carbon’ and detain it, I am not convinced it is the best solution. In fact, it seems the long-term effects could be far more damaging – not necessarily in my lifetime, but that of my future children, which is unacceptable.

According to media sources, this method of capturing carbon gases can reduce emissions by nearly 80% from sources such as electricity generation plants and the like, through sending the gases through pipelines and bored deep into the earth.

It is commendable that we, as a country, are aiming to reduce our carbon emissions by 34% by 2020 and 45% by 2025 – if given the proper infrastructure and support to do so, which is another challenge in itself and requires some investigation into where the financing will stem from.

But the question remains: What will happen to the captured carbon gases?

The biggest theme here seems to be sweeping the carbon emissions problem
under the carpet (or deep underground, if you will) and pretending it is not there.

What are the long-term effects of this technique? And how has South Africa approved it without considering this problem?

As it is understood, the idea is still in its strategic phase, and will be tested at some point to judge its effectiveness. I sincerely hope it will be tested on all levels and that it actually does work and does not leave a negative impact on our lives today and tomorrow.

There is surely much more to this story and one that will be followed up in the next few editions of Energy Forecast but, until then, conserve energy and be resource wise.

It is for the good of everyone.

Tracee Harvard

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This edition

Issue 39