Health impacts of Eskom’s non-compliance with minimum emissions standards

South Africa’s Minimum Emissions Standards (MES) for combustion installations were issued in 2010, with a phased introduction where existing sources had to meet a more lenient set of standards by 2015 and a more stringent set of standards by 2020. Most importantly, these standards would require, for the first time, coal-burning facilities to install sulphur dioxide (SO2) emissions controls. As a result of the failure to act on its SO2 emissions, Eskom has become the largest power sector emitter of SO2 in the world. In this report, project emissions, air quality impacts and the resulting health and economic impacts of air pollution from Eskom’s coal power plant fleet under four different scenarios of compliance with the MES.