Cement production and greenhouse gas emission : implications for mitigating climate change

Mudeme, Lerato
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In this research, the greenhouse gas emission reduction strategies of a cement producing company, Pretoria Portland Cement (PPC) in South Africa are examined. The implications of the various greenhouse gas emission reduction strategies for climate change mitigation are also analysed. Climate change has become an issue of global prominence and is possibly the greatest environmental challenge facing the world today. The study shows that PPC has greenhouse gas emission reduction strategies and this has positive implications for climate change mitigation. These strategies include the Secondary Materials Co-Processing Programme, retrofitting of some of its old plants to reduce air pollution etc. The results of the study also indicate that the company has taken a proactive approach to greenhouse gas emissions. Greenhouse gas emission reduction presents certain challenges and the company has identified the use of huge financial resources and lack of clear guidance and regulations with regards to greenhouse gas emissions as some of the major challenges. However, the relevant government department, the Department of Environmental Affairs and Tourism (DEAT), which is the lead agency for climate change response in South Africa has stated that a number of projects targeted at achieving sustainable development and climate change mitigation (directly or indirectly) have been developed and some implemented by the various government departments which include the Department of Minerals and Energy (DME). However, the DEAT also stated that there are numerous barriers to climate change mitigation. These challenges include lack of skilled personnel, financial constraints and pressing social and economic challenges which are prioritised over environmental issues and lack of co-operation between industry and government with regards to environmental protection. The DEAT stated that efforts are being made to intensify co-operation between government and industry with regards to climate change mitigation and the achievement of sustainable development.