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SA will have to close either all its coal-fired power stations or Sasol’s coal-to-liquids plant by 2050 to stay within its carbon budget of 14 gigatonnes, Jesse Burton, a researcher at the University of Cape Town’s Energy Research Centre, says. In any event, SA cannot build more coal-fired power stations if it is to meet its commitments under the Paris agreement to reduce its share of emissions of greenhouse gases to keep the increase in global temperatures below 2ºC above preindustrial levels by 2100, she said on Monday at a seminar on Life After Coal hosted by the Centre for Environmental Rights (CER). The Department of Energy recently announced two successful bids in the coal-fired independent power producer programme (IPP) and Eskom, the country’s biggest carbon emitter, is studying the feasibility of extending the lives of its ageing coal-fired power stations. Robyn Hugo, the head of the Centre for Environmental Rights’s pollution and climate change programme, said SA was one o...

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