As scientific research is proving and real-time observations are illustrating, carbon emissions caused by human activities are beginning to alter the global climate system. This has been linked to noticeable and complex impacts across the globe, including:
- Colder regions of the globe are experiencing gradual melting of the polar ice-caps in the Arctic & Antarctic regions and glaciers found in high-altitude mountain ranges.
- Frequent and high-intensity wildfires causing extensive environmental and infrastructure damage to Eastern Australia, California (USA) and countries around the Mediterranean Sea.
- Increasing frequency of extreme weather events in South Africa, such as prolonged droughts in the Northern and Eastern Cape Provinces, and destructive flooding in KwaZulu-Natal.
The Carbon Tax forms part of national legislation released in 2019 in response to the commitments made by South Africa toward curbing carbon emissions which are in line with the targets set out in the Paris Agreement of 2016, of which South Africa is a signatory. The Carbon Tax is scheduled to be rolled out in multiple phases – South Africa is currently in Phase 1 of the roll-out, with Phase 2 (applicable to the agricultural industry) originally scheduled to begin on 31 December 2022.
The 2022 Budget proposal announced early in 2022 resulted in a proposal for Phase 2 of the Carbon Tax roll-out in South Africa to be delayed – it proposed that Phase 2 of the Carbon Tax be delayed by three years and become effective on 31 December 2025. Please refer to page 48 of the 2022 Budget Review.
With this delay in mind, and due to the already strong focus from global markets (e.g. via the SDG’s, Paris agreement, UK Green deal, etc.), SIZA aims to encourage members to prepare for the looming Carbon Tax requirement. Recordkeeping of energy usage will assist producers with calculating their Carbon Footprint, as a year’s worth of data is needed for this calculation, and further assists members with illustrating the improvement made toward reducing carbon emissions.
Therefore, SIZA has decided to implement the following approach for third-party audits, and SIZA CARES verifications against the SIZA Environmental Standard:
Code Requirement 3.2: Energy use is measured and efficient – Checkpoint (4.2.1)
Yes – The member has begun an annual recordkeeping process to track all direct energy usage.
No – Annual recordkeeping has not been implemented to track all direct energy usage (minor non-compliance).
Code Requirement 3.2: Energy use is measured and efficient – Checkpoint (4.2.2)
Yes – The member has completed an annual carbon footprint calculation.
No – An annual carbon footprint calculation is not available (observation – until phase 2 of the Carbon Tax is implemented).
Code Requirement 4.1: Meeting of direct energy needs (electricity and fuel) is not dependent on non-renewable energy sources – Checkpoint (5.1.1)
Yes – The results of carbon footprint calculations are used to create realistic goals for shifting from high emission activities to renewable energy sources.
No – Either: i) An annual carbon footprint calculation is not available (observation – until phase 2 of the Carbon Tax is implemented); or ii) A carbon footprint is available, but no realistic goals have been set to shift high-emission activities to renewable energy sources (recommendation).