Since 2010 the debate concerning the net effect of pricing carbon in the SA economy has been fractious, with concerns ranging from international competitiveness to the financial impact on local industry and labour concerns. The reality is that SA is a significant global emitter of greenhouse gases (GHG), with a heavy reliance on fossil fuel-based energy. So, in a bid to contribute to tackling climate change, the country has a dual responsibility to honour its international emission reduction commitments and reduce its GHG emissions, in line with the National Development Plan (NDP). The government’s announcement of a market-based carbon pricing mechanism is an important step towards shifting the economy to a low-carbon growth path by initially targeting the most carbon- and energy-intensive companies.

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