Johannesburg – South Africa, the 10th largest greenhouse gas emitter, would probably commit to specific cuts in carbon emissions after 2012, a climate change adviser said yesterday.

“South Africa will feel pressure to take on some targets on their greenhouse gas emissions post 2012,” said Emily Tyler, a senior associate at Genesis Analytics, which advises companies on the effects of climate change. “It might not be an absolute cap, there might be sectoral targets.”

Developed countries that signed the 1997 UN Kyoto protocol committed to cutting their greenhouse gas emissions by at least 5 percent from 1990 levels between 2008 and 2012. Developing countries including South Africa did not make that pledge to avoid limiting economic growth.

“There’s increasing pressure on developing countries after the so-called first commitment process,” said Johann Scholtz, a partner at Webber Wentzel Bowens law firm. “South Africa emits just less carbon dioxide than the UK with 3.6 times South Africa’s gross domestic product.”

The US, China and the EU are the largest greenhouse gas emitters. South Africa’s ranking is based on the EU being counted as one.