South Africa Has Good, Reliable Sources of Emissions Data

South Africa Has Good, Reliable Sources of Emissions Data

This Post was submitted by Climate Scorecard South Africa Country Manager Deepti Charitar

Best Organizational Source: Eskom. Department of Forestry, Fisheries, and the Environment, Department of Mineral Resources and Energy


In South Africa, Eskom provides information on the country’s current levels of emissions. Eskom is a state-owned electricity utility responsible for generating nearly 95% of the electricity consumed in South Africa [1]. Eskom reports CO2 emissions (in tons) every month on its website [2]. The published values account for coal and gas power stations and the consumption of oil during the start-ups of these power stations. The CO2 emissions are computed based on the design parameters of the power stations and coal analysis. These power stations also release pollutants into the atmosphere and Eskom also reports on pollutant emissions including SO2, NOx, and particulate matter (in mg/Nm3).

Moreover, the Department of Forestry, Fisheries and the Environment (DFFE), is a department of the South African government which regularly publishes the National GHG Inventory Report for the country. The first GHG inventory was developed in 1998 based on 1990 data. It was later updated to include 1994 data and published in 2004. The GHG inventory for 2000 to 2010 was compiled in 2014, with an update for 2011 and 2012 data completed in 2016, while the data for 2013 to 2015 was completed in 2019. In August 2021, an updated inventory including 2016 and 2017 data was published [3]. The inventory includes the amount of GHG emissions in 4 sectors: Energy, Industrial Processes and Product Use (IPPU), Agriculture, Forestry and Other Land Use (AFOLU) and Waste. The overall emissions in each sector are calculated and reported in terms of Gg CO2e.

South Africa mostly relies on local industries and organisations for compiling its emissions inventory. However, there are some information gaps with regards to waste data in the country. In the emissions inventory [3], it is mentioned that solid waste and wastewater emissions were mostly calculated using default values from the IPCC guidelines. GDP data from the World Bank was used to calculate the waste generation rate per GDP, and population statistics from the United Nations were used to obtain consistent time-series activity data for solid waste disposal.

The energy sector in South Africa provides a comprehensive database on climate related information. The main data source is the Department of Mineral Resources and Energy (DMRE) which provides yearly data on emissions, in terms of tons of CO2e, in different sectors such as energy, industry, transport, agriculture, commerce and public services, and residential based on the different energy sources used in these sectors. Currently, excel spreadsheets from 1992 to 2018 are available for download from the DMRE website [3].

Quality and reliability of the climate emissions data produced by the country:

Rating: *** Good

The quality and reliability of the climate emissions data that South Africa produces can be rated as good as the GHG inventory includes a quality control and quality assurance process [4].

Four Stars (****): Outstanding

Three stars (***): Good

Two stars (**): Fair

One star (*): Poor


Contact [5]

Barbara Creecy, Minister of Forestry, Fisheries and the Environment

Email: (Personal Assistant: Buchule Mbuli)


  1. Department of Public Enterprises. Eskom. [Accessed September 2021].
  2. 2021. [Accessed September 2021].
  3. Department of Mineral Resources and Energy. [Accessed September 2021].
  4. Department of Forestry, Fisheries and the Environment. National GHG Inventory Report. 2021. [Accessed September 2021].
  5. South African Government. 2021. [Accessed September 2021].

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