Expert to advise South Africa on reducing carbon footprint

Issue date: 01 February 2010

Professor Jim Longhurst Professor Jim Longhurst of the University of the West of England is playing a major role in South Africa's moves towards a low carbon future. He has been invited by the South African Academy of Sciences to serve on its high-profile Consensus Panel for Low Carbon Cities which holds its first meeting on 1 February.

The panel will consist of some five international experts, including Professor Longhurst, together with experts from South Africa. During the next 18 months the panel will address ways that climate change can be mitigated in South Africa, and to make recommendations based on evidence to support the national government's commitment to transition to a low-carbon economy.

Professor Longhurst is co-director of UWE's Institute for Sustainability, Health and the Environment, and director of the Air Quality Research Centre. He said, “This is a good example of knowledge being exchanged at an international level. The appointment builds on my earlier work in South Africa when I helped to develop their National Framework for Air Quality.”

Professor Robin Crewe, President of the Academy of Science of South Africa said Professor Longhurst has been invited to serve on this panel because of his expertise in the field.

The panel will meet several times over the next 18 months, and will begin by reviewing carbon reduction strategies in key cities around the world. It will look at the impact of interventions to reduce energy use, such as improving energy efficiency in existing and new buildings, traffic planning, renewable energy applications, cleaner fossil fuel technology, neutralising unavoidable emissions through carbon offsetting schemes and carbon storage options.

Using the city of Durban as a case-study, the panel will report on which interventions would help Durban on its pathway towards becoming a low carbon city, with the aim of applying these results to other South African cities.

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