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S. Africa Taken to Court After Doubling Coal-Emission Limits

  • Amended legislation didn’t follow due process, NGO says
  • Power utility uses coal to generate most of its electricity
Emissions rise from a chimney at a coal-fired power station in Mpumalanga, South Africa.

Emissions rise from a chimney at a coal-fired power station in Mpumalanga, South Africa.

Photographer: Waldo Swiegers/Bloomberg
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South Africa’s government is facing a legal challenge over its decision last year to double the amount of sulfur dioxide that coal-fired power plants and refineries can emit.

groundWork, an environmental non-governmental organization, filed the challenge against Environmental Affairs Minister Nomvula Mokonyane and President Cyril Ramaphosa in the Pretoria High Court, saying the government broke the law by not publishing the amendments for comment before enacting the legislation. The law is beneficial to power company Eskom Holdings SOC Ltd. and Sasol Ltd., which produces fuel and chemicals from coal, it said.