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The British High Commission and UK Trade and Investment in South Africa jointly hosted a business breakfast with ENSafrica, the largest law firm in Africa on “the Carbon Tax – Getting ahead of the Game”
The seminar provided international lessons on how companies can plan strategically to capitalise on the opportunities presented by the green economy and the mechanisms to drive a shift to greener business, including the carbon tax.
In his opening address the British Trade Commissioner to South Africa, Andrew Henderson, said:
“How the business community develops more innovative business practices is crucial to both government’s objectives and business’ own bottom lines.”
The British Trade Commissioner underlined the shared commitment by both the United Kingdom and South Africa Government’s to addressing climate change and the challenges this poses:
“South Africa and the UK have both set ambitious emissions reduction targets and are taking a leading role in demonstrating globally that a shift to a low carbon model is achievable.”
Stephen Levetan, ENSafrica head of environment, noted:
“Carbon pricing is an essential element of climate change policy and, properly implemented, can have the effect of increasing the country’s international competitiveness. This is a benefit of weaning industry off reliance on fossil fuels”.
Mott MacDonald, Development Director, Simon Critten shared insights gained from their global project experiences
“There is no silver bullet for dealing with carbon taxation, however, developing strategies to capitalise on win-win opportunities can soften the blow.
“Delivering growth whilst reducing emissions requires innovative business practices. By focusing on compliance with taxation regimes the importance in delivering innovation can often be overlooked.”
Given the launch of the UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change’s (IPCC’s) fifth, and final, assessment report on Friday 27th September, this event could not have come at a more appropriate time. The report is likely to provide the underpinning science to the legally binding 2015 agreement to tackle climate change and its release has therefore been highly anticipated by key decision makers in the sector.