South Africa – climate and energy statistics

South AfricaTotal national greenhouse gas emissions as a percentage of global total, 2004 figures


Historical contribution – 1850 to 2000


Change in annual greenhouse gas emissions since 1990


(See econsense: Fact Sheet Climate Policy.)

2005 per capita annual greenhouse gas emissions

9 tonnes

Energy used per unit of GDP (compared to USA)


Balance of energy sources, 2008

Coal 71.25
Oil 13
Renewables* 10.5
Gas 3
Nuclear 2.5
Hydro 0.1

* Almost all non-commercial use of biomass.

Energy security

South Africa has the world’s sixth largest coal reserves, but no significant oil or gas. Due to the apartheid-era sanctions, it began turning coal into liquid fuel, which is an extremely climate-damaging process.

Electricity generated in 2008

Coal 93
Nuclear 5
Hydro 1.5
Biomass 0.1
Wind 0.01
Solar PV 0.01

Electricity – supply and demand

South Africa has a serious shortage of electricity, partly due to economic expansion, partly because 80% of South Africans are now connected to the electricity grid (see South Africa and climate change) and party because electricity prices are kept extremely low (see National Response to South Africa’s Electricity Shortage).

Percentage of agriculture certified as organic

0.05% (though much more will in fact be free of artificial pesticides and fertiliser, but not certified).

Cars per thousand of population



Leave a comment

(all comments are subject to moderation)

Comments are closed.