Earth Hour

Finweek English Edition - - IN BRIEF -

>7 000

The num­ber of cities around the world where hun­dreds of mil­lions of peo­ple an­nu­ally ob­serve Earth Hour. The 2015 Earth Hour, which will be ob­served on 28 March from 20:30 to 21:30, will see peo­ple switch off their lights for an hour in a sym­bolic call to global lead­ers to make smart de­ci­sions about deal­ing with cli­mate change.


The num­ber of peo­ple around the world who do not have ac­cess to re­li­able en­ergy. Some 2.7bn de­pend on tra­di­tional fu­els such as wood, char­coal or ma­nure for cooking and heat­ing, of­ten har­vested in ways that are dam­ag­ing to the en­vi­ron­ment and used in ways that are highly dam­ag­ing to health.


An es­ti­mated 37% of wa­ter is lost from leaks in ur­ban sup­ply sys­tems. In 2013, wa­ter leaks cost SA about R7.2bn.


Less than 1% of the wa­ter treated by public wa­ter sys­tems is used for drink­ing and cooking. Gen­er­ally, about 40% to 60% of clean drink­able house­hold wa­ter is used for non-es­sen­tial pur­poses such as wa­ter­ing gar­dens and fill­ing swim­ming pools.


The year by which wa­ter de­mand i s ex­pected to ex­ceed sup­ply in SA. Cur­rently, 40% of the coun­try’s fresh­wa­ter ecosys­tems are in a crit­i­cal con­di­tion. In ad­di­tion, 82% of SA’s rivers are un­der threat.


The pro­por­tion of global en­ergy pro­vi­sion that cur­rently comes from re­new­able en­ergy sources.


The pro­por­tion of to­tal monthly house­hold in­come that is (on av­er­age) spent on en­ergy needs, which is higher than the in­ter­na­tional bench­mark of 10%. Some 43% of all South African house­holds are clas­si­fied as en­ergy poor (lack of ac­cess to mod­ern en­ergy ser­vices). Be­tween 1994 and 2010 over 5.2m house­holds and more than 12 000 schools were con­nected to the grid.


The pro­por­tion of South Africa’s en­ergy needs di­rectly de­rived from coal, mainly to gen­er­ate elec­tric­ity but also for syn­thetic fuel (as pro­duced by Sa­sol) and petro­chem­i­cal op­er­a­tions. The en­ergy sec­tor is re­spon­si­ble for about 85% of SA’s green­house gas emis­sions.

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