Western Cape goes green

The Western Cape provincial government has committed itself to reducing its carbon emissions by 10 percent by the year 2014.

The goal is contained in the Environmental Affairs Department’s sustainability plan for the next four years.

MEC, Anton Bredell said by 2014, 15 percent of the province’s electricity usage would come from renewable sources.

Currently, 95 percent of all energy used in the Western Cape is generated by the burning of fossil fuels, which is unsustainable.

Provincial government announced it plans to be at the forefront of energy saving by reducing electricity usage in provincial buildings — including hospitals and schools — by up to 10 percent.

Better management of pollution and waste is also an issue — the department wants to encourage recycling to ease the burden on already overflowing landfill sites.

Climate change models also indicate that the region remains in a water crisis.

To counter this problem, the department said it is planning to improve agricultural, commercial and household water use efficiency by 10 percent over the next four years.

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