Carbon emissions targeted

Buddy Naidu

Buddy Naidu

A top European energy company is on a mission to reduce South Africa's carbon emissions.

Dong Energy yesterday signed an agreement with the Danish embassy in Pretoria that will kick-start Cleaner Development Mechanism (CDM) projects across the country.

Dong - Denmark's version of Eskom, which went private 15 years ago - believes there is "huge potential" in South Africa's renewable energy landscape and is looking to work with local partners.

Dong's commitment could boost South Africa's poor record in what is known as the global CDM count.

As of last year the country had just 11 CDM projects to reduce its carbon emissions - out of 1 090 globally.

Cilla Harpsøe Clausen, Head of CO2 Funds & Purchases at Dong Energy said: "Dong has a strict reduction targets which forms part of Denmark's 21percent reduction target under the Kyoto protocol."

She said Dong also bought carbon credits "as we strongly believe in the international community achieving a climate change agreement in Copenhagen later this year".

CDMs, according to the Kyoto Protocol, allow first world countries with emission reduction commitments to offset their carbon footprint by implementing emission reduction in developing countries. Countries like Denmark then earn points towards meeting Kyoto targets.