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‘Big polluters’ flagged in damning report

Publish date: 01 April 2024
Issue Number: 1070
Diary: IBA Legalbrief Africa
Category: South Africa

Experts believe a new approach could push ‘big polluters’ towards understanding how greenhouse gases emitted from their operations contribute to climate change and the devastation that often hurts the poor the most. To crystallise the cause and effects of climate change on weather events, the Centre for Environmental Rights (CER) used the impact of the 2022 floods on Durban to drive home this message, which is contained in a report they launched last month. The Sunday Tribune notes that the Polluters Pay report also delivered a warning that the law could be used to claim for losses and damages, even from the world’s largest greenhouse gas emitters. In explaining the climate change phenomenon, the report stated that excessive greenhouse gases – mainly carbon dioxide, methane and nitrous oxide – were emitted through the combustion of fossil fuels (coal, oil and gas). The more than 300mm of rain that fell in a period of 24-hours in April 2022, which roughly represented a third of the mean annual rainfall for Durban, brought serious consequences for the port city. The death toll reached 443 and the deluge damaged more than 26 000 dwellings. About 600 schools sustained storm damage, which affected learning. Damage was reported at 84 healthcare facilities. The KZN Government estimated the total economic loss to be R17bn.

Full Sunday Tribune report

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