The Minister of Environmental Affairs published the National Greenhouse Gas Emissions Reporting Regulations on 3 April 2017 (“the regulations”). These regulations govern the reporting of emissions emanating from the categories of emission sources listed in Annexure 1 to the regulations which govern a broad spectrum of activities related to energy, industrial processes and product use, agriculture, forestry and other land uses and waste (“Annexure 1 activities”).

Registration of Facilities

Persons in control of Annexure 1 activities (“Category A data providers”) must register their facilities with the competent authority if their facility exceeds the thresholds set out in Annexure 1 to the regulations. For example, if the facility is involved in the energy industry and uses fuel combustion to generate electricity and heat in excess of 10MW, the facility will need to be registered and will be the subject of the Greenhouse Gas (“GHG”) emissions reporting requirements.

The registration of these facilities will take place using the National Atmospheric Emission Inventory System (“NAEIS”) and must be done by 3 May 2017. Currently NAEIS does not allow for registration, the Category A data provider will therefore need to submit the relevant information electronically to the National Inventory Unit at the Department of Environmental Affairs (“the competent authority”), Mr Brian Mantlana Chief Director: Climate Change Monitoring and Evaluation. (BMantlana@environment.gov.za)The information that must be submitted to the competent authority includes details of the data provider and the facility.

If, following registration, the data provider’s details change or the data provider transfers ownership and operational control in the facility to another party, the data provider must (within 30 days) notify the competent authority. The new owner / operator must (within 30 days of taking ownership or operational control) register the facility. Note that failing to register a facility or notify the competent authority about a change in ownership is an offence and may (upon conviction) result in a fine of up to R5 million or imprisonment of up to 5 years for first time offender and R10 million or 10 years in prison for subsequent offences.

Reporting

A Category A data provider must submit GHG emissions data and ‘data on the magnitude of a human activity resulting in emissions or removals taking place during a given period of time’ (“activity data”) as set out in the Technical Guidelines for Monitoring, Reporting and Verification of GHG Emissions by Industry for each GHG (i.e. Carbon dioxide, Methane, Nitrous oxide, Sulphur hexafluoride, Perfluorocarbons and Hydrofluorocarbons) and International Panel on Climate Changes’ emission sources as identified in Annexure 1 to the regulations for all its facilities in the prescribed form for the preceding calendar year by 31 March each year.

The reporting process must take place via the NAEIS or if the NAEIS is unable to facilitate such report, the information must be submitted electronically to the competent authority.

Methodology for compiling and submitting GHG emissions data and activity data

In its report, the Category A data provider must:

  • Define the boundaries to which its data relates and must report GHG emissions during normal conditions, upset conditions, start-up and shut-down conditions and emergency situations;

  • Include all process, fugitive and combustion emissions from all sources / source streams related to the activities identified in Annexure 1;

  • Determine the emissions in accordance with the methodology.

If, having submitted the reporting information, the competent authority reasonably believes that the information is not transparent, complete or correct he or she may instruct the data provider to submit information in support of the submissions originally reported. If, notwithstanding the additional information, the competent authority is still not satisfied, it may conduct an on-site verification or validation of the information or appoint an independent third party to conduct the verification / validation.

Record keeping and confidentiality

The competent authority may only disclose reported information if required by law, court order for the purposes of administrative justice. A data provider must archive all the data in support of the report it has submitted in terms of the regulations for at least 5 years.