Anyone for a career in carbon monitoring?

The likelihood of a raft of climate change laws and regulations on the South African horizon is spurring a surge in demand from companies for specialist services to monitor and manage their greenhouse gases.

An article in Business Report today points out that the answer to “how do we report on our greenhouse gas emissions?” is not straightforward, and heralds an impending challenge in South Africa of securing adequate skills.

For now, questions about how to report and how to play a role in cutting down on carbon are coming predominantly from sectors with significant emissions, namely mining and utilities, but banks and other fields are increasingly joining the trend.

“This tallies with the findings of the 2008 Carbon Disclosure Project (CDP), which Incite Sustainability introduced two years ago as the first co-ordinated attempt at disclosing emissions of the JSE’s top listed companies.”

So what are the carbon monitoring skills we are lacking? “This ‘very discreet set of skills’ typically involves a range of specialists from engineers to environmental scientists,” says Incite’s Jonathon Hanks.

The gap in the market for careers in the field of carbon monitoring is apparently catching the attention of an increasing number of university students in South Africa, but will the production line be fast enough to meet demand?

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