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Eskom emits more carbon than other power plants in the globe


Eskom emits more carbon than other power plants in the globe

A recent report has it that Eskom, South Africa’s coal-reliant electricity supplier, emits more sulfur dioxide than any other energy company in the globe.

The study published by the Center for Research on Energy and Clean Air (CREA) reveals that the company has surpassed the United States, the European Union, and China as the world’s most polluting enterprise.

With numerous companies using fossil fuels to produce energy in China, the EU, and the US yet these countries are being surpassed by a single energy production company in sulfur dioxide emissions, Eskom is damaging the environment and contributing greatly to climate change.

Eskom’s 15 coal-fired power plants are responsible for the emissions, as the business has neglected to install desulphurization technology to help cut emissions in recent years. According to Fin24, installing the equipment at the utility’s Medupi power plant alone would cost R40 billion ($2.6 billion).

The company’s consolidated report says that the 15 plants generated 44GW of power and emitted 1,600 thousand tonnes of sulfur dioxide in the 2020–2021 financial year making it the highest emitters.

The report also says that some of the world’s biggest sulfur dioxides polluters, such as the United States, China, and the European Union, have undertaken various measures to cut emissions while Eskom (South Africa) has put in little or no effort to check its carbon footprint.

Air pollution specialist, Mike Holland, confirms that sulfur dioxide emissions contribute to high levels of ambient air pollution and air pollution-related mortality in South Africa, accounting for around 2,200 deaths each year. The majority of these deaths are caused by SO2 emissions, which when discharged into the air generate deadly PM2.5 particles.

Meanwhile, China has reduced sulfur dioxide emissions from 13 million tonnes in 2006 to 2 million tonnes in 2015, despite having 20 times the number of coal-fired power units as South Africa. Also, in 2019, the EU, which has 231 coal plants (128GW), lowered its sulfur dioxide emissions to 560 kt, or one-third of Eskom’s.

The statement came as pressures to phase out the development and use of coal-fired power stations in order to combat the continuous growth of climate change. however, China, the world’s largest coal consumer, has even stated that it will no longer finance the construction of new coal plants abroad.

The bulk of emerging economies such as South Africa and India are heavily dependant on coal, making the retirement of coal-fired plants difficult. To decrease dependency on coal, governments, and energy companies in developing nations must implement strict policies, improve financing, and demonstrate a willingness to do just that.

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