Maputo, Mozambique — ESI-AFRICA.COM — 28 October 2011 – The expansion of the national electricity grid, based on the Cahora Bassa dam, across most of Mozambique has greatly reduced the level of carbon dioxide emissions from the country’s electricity sector.
Making this statement at a seminar here, Telma Manjate “’ key expert on climate change in the Environment Ministry “’ said that electricity was the only sector of the Mozambican economy that had managed to reduce its carbon emissions since 1990.
“The energy sector has been cutting its emissions", she confirmed. This was because old and obsolete diesel-powered power stations had been switched off as the electricity grid expanded. “The power in the grid today is Cahora Bassa power, which is clean.”
Manjate said that the carbon emissions from electricity generation had fallen from 2,450t in 1990 to 1,844t in 1994. By 2000 emissions were down to 1,403t.
He pointed out, however, that this trend could easily be reversed with the plans of the coal mining companies Vale (of Brazil) and Riversdale (of Australia) to build large coal-fired power stations in the Tete province.
“This could increase emissions", Manjate told AIM. “I don’t know about these specific cases, but the possibility exists of using certain technology to help reduce emissions.”
But the Environment Ministry believes that Mozambique’s priority is not to reduce its carbon emissions (which are already very small when compared with those of middle-income or rich countries), but to guarantee that measures of adaptation to climate change do not damage the country’s economy.
The sector that pumps most carbon dioxide into the Mozambican atmosphere is transport. Emissions from transport have increased sharply due to the rise in the number of vehicles on Mozambican roads.