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As South Africans navigate a festive season offering the relief of a lower fuel price — while taking a toll in disruption due to load-shedding — it all points to the shameful slow progress the country has made in developing a biofuels industry. This should change given the dire warnings from theUN that countries across the globe need to act far more quickly to limit global warming. The time is past for debate on whether SA should produce fuel ethanol, primarily from excess sugar, the issue now is how quickly it can happen. Ethanol is a low-emissions fuel, and can make an important contribution to slowing global warming. A UN report says that unprecedented changes are required now if the Earth is to remain safe and habitable after 2030. The UN’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) says this means urgent changes across a number of areas if global warming is to be limited to 1.5°C rather than the potentially disastrous 2°C that has been forecast. The temperature changes in...

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