Contact: Lerato Ngakane, Africa Communications Coordinator, Lerato.firstname.lastname@example.org, +27 81 464 9726
350Africa.org commends the ANC on its focus on renewable energy as an enabler to build the economy through jobs, reduce the cost of energy and decrease greenhouse emissions in its 2019 election manifesto. However, the manifesto mentioned South Africa’s reality of having large coal reserves as a way to provide ‘cheap energy that can also assist with affordable prices’ raises concerns.
350Africa.org divestment campaigner Ahmed Mokgopo says, ”The cost of ‘cheap energy’ comes at a high price. There are grave consequences of providing energy that comes from coal-fired power stations on local communities. The socio-economic burdens would rest on the taxpayer, the department of health and the environment. To avoid the impacts of climate change would mean a commitment to renewables by keeping fossil fuels in the ground and rapidly building equitable, decentralized and community-led 100% renewable energy systems.
“Given South Africa’s water security challenges the country must urgently transition to phasing out fossil fuels to keep global warming below 1.5°C as stated by the recent IPCC report.” Mokgopa continued.
“350Africa.org hopes the ANC and the South African government will significantly increase its support for renewable technologies in order to create jobs, decrease emissions and most importantly to avoid climate catastrophe. South Africa should demonstrate the leadership that the continent and the world needs to achieve a lasting solution to the climate crisis,” Mokgopa concludes.