We are calling for a Green New Eskom – a rapid and just transition to a more socially owned, renewable energy powered economy, providing clean, safe, and affordable energy for all, with no worker and community left behind in the transition.
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Here is why we’re calling for a #GreenNewEskom:
1. Because Coal Kills.
Eskom’s reliance on expensive, unreliable & polluting coal is killing us. Electricity tariff increases and load shedding are killing the South African economy and hurting the poor. Eskom’s unsustainable debt levels are draining tens of billions in taxpayer money and driving austerity. Its power is literally killing our people through air and water pollution. And as the biggest climate polluter in Africa, it is causing death and devastation across the world through climate change.
2. A Better Eskom is Possible.
A better Eskom is possible, if we pursue a rapid and just transition to renewable energy that benefits all South Africans. Renewable energy is now South Africa’s cheapest and most job-creating form of energy. Research shows that a transition to renewable energy can create hundreds of thousands more jobs, compared to sticking with our polluting system. It would also lower the cost of energy, save hundreds of billions of water per year, make our energy system more reliable (i.e. no load-shedding), and remove our biggest source of air, water & climate pollution.
3. We Need A Just Transition.
If we are to transition to a renewable energy future, we cannot leave behind workers who have worked so hard to keep the lights on. We must protect workers and communities who depend on coal for their livelihoods. For those workers, a just transition is vital. It is not optional. Additionally, to ensure that renewable energy brings more benefits to the people of South Africa, we must pursue a more socially owned renewable energy future that puts the benefits, jobs, and ownership of energy more in the hands of the people.
4. We Need Energy for All.
With millions still lacking access to electricity, we must ensure access to affordable energy for all. Renewable energy provides the most affordable and fastest way to provide energy access for all. Poor South Africans also deserve an expansion of the insufficient indigent free electricity allocation. We must reject the inhumanity of leaving the poorest and most vulnerable in our society out in the dark and in the cold, especially with the onset of winter. We must ensure energy for all, so that all South Africans can have the power they require to meet their basic needs.
5. For A Green Industrialisation.
A Green New Eskom can drive South Africa’s green industrialisation creating millions of decent jobs. Government and Eskom policy can ensure our communities, businesses, and factories are leading a program of green industrial development and building renewable energy at home.In addition to local production and manufacturing, we also need a mass rollout of solar panels; electric vehicles & charging infrastructure; affordable, electrified mass transit; smart grids; battery & storage technologies; & building efficiency retrofits especially for low-income houses.
The Green New Eskom campaign and its vision was developed by the Climate Justice Coalition, a South African coalition of civil society, grassroots, trade union, and community-based organisations. The coalition has put forward this set of interconnected demands outlining their vision for transforming Eskom and South Africa’s energy sector.
A rapid and just transition to a renewable energy powered, zero carbon economy, providing clean, safe & affordable energy for all, with no worker or community left behind.
Put in place a robust just transition plan that invests in and protects workers & communities vulnerable in the transition to a zero carbon future. We cannot leave workers and communities behind in this transition. They must be protected.
Remove the artificial limits on renewable energy and transition as fast as possible to renewable energy. We must accelerate the transition in line with South Africa’s fair share of keeping warming to 1.5C.
Policies & incentives to enable socially owned renewable energy so local workers, communities, small-to-medium businesses, & families can own & benefit from clean energy. Gender, racial, and economic justice must guide these policies.
Expand Eskom’s mandate to allow it to rapidly build renewable energy & energy storage. They must also make the investments needed to extend and upgrade the grid – allowing socially owned renewable energy to feed into the grid.
Ending harmful and regressive subsidies for coal, oil and gas, and redirecting them to urgent needs like education, healthcare, energy access, and renewable energy. The taxpayer cannot keep bailing out polluting and uneconomic industries.
No new coal power – so-called “clean coal” is an expensive polluting lie. Just Medupi & Kusile power stations are projected to cost nearly R500 billion, and that’s without technologies to clean them up, which Eskom has said are simply too expensive.
No to fracking for fossil gas. Rather than polluting fossil gas, new gas plants should aim for renewable hydrogen and biogas, which can help balance the grid for renewables. South Africa and Sasol should become leaders in producing green hydrogen.
A renewable reindustrialisation policy that enables a nationwide rollout of renewable energy factories and plants with priority given to vulnerable, coal-dependent, carbon-intensive regions.
A mass rollout of solar panels; electric vehicles & accompanying infrastructure; affordable, electrified mass transit; smart grids; battery & storage technologies; and building efficiency retrofits especially for low-income houses; all with policies to encourage local production.
A massive skills, jobs, and training programme to create opportunities for the people of South Africa in the renewable energy economy and unlock One Million Climate Jobs. Women and youth empowerment must be a vital part of this program.
No to continued tariff hikes which are making electricity unaffordable. While Eskom does need to be able to cover its costs, South Africans should not be made to pay for the corruption and looting at Eskom.
Restructuring Eskom to do away with corruption & bloated, overpaid (mis)management. Eskom needs to put in place much more transparent and accountable structures to ensure looting and corruption ends.
An audit of all energy supply contracts to recover costs on & end overpriced contracts – including the R14 trillion in overpriced coal contracts signed during 2008 loadshedding. We must also declare as odious the corruption riddled World Bank debt for Medupi.
Expand free electricity access for low-income households & ensure all have access to reliable, affordable energy. We must protect, not disconnect and load shed, our most vulnerable citizens.
No exemptions to Eskom or Sasol for clean air regulations, minimum emission standards, or transparency on emissions data. We must strengthen regulations to ensure clean for all, as argued in the the Deadly Air or Umoya Obulalayo Case
All communities impacted by mining and energy projects must have their free, prior and informed consent respected. A standard which must be enshrined in the law and respected by regulations.
Beyond just energy, as the Cry of the Xcluded has demanded, South Africa needs a radical Green New Deal which puts South Africans to work building a more socially and ecologically just future, tackling our deep inequality, unemployment and poverty.
How to get involved in helping to win a Green New Eskom
The future of Eskom is one of the most contested spaces in South Africa. It is captured by vested interests who stand to gain billions by continuing to loot, pollute, and corrupt our energy future. As such, it will take more than a politely worded letter to win a Green New Eskom. We are in a power struggle over the future of our country, and we will need to build a movement powerful enough to drive meaningful change and transformation.
People from all walks of life will need to come together to win a Green New Eskom. We hope you will join us in demanding a Green New Eskom. Here are some ways you can get involved:
Spread The Word.
We need to build the movement and get more people out supporting a Green New Eskom. To help spread the word, you can share on WhatsApp, social media or email.
Make your mark with your pen, your keyboard, and your words. Write or call in to your local newspaper, blog, and/or radio station to discuss why we need a Green New Eskom. Learn more about speaking to and writing for the media here.
Educate yourself and others.
Want to learn more about what a Green New Eskom means? Visit GreenNewEskom.org/learn. There you will find a flier, a booklet, podcasts, articles, and materials which can help you understand the issues better and spread the word.
Join the Mass Mobilisation.
We are building towards a COVID-safe, mass mobilisation around September 2021. We welcome all supportive groups and people to join, educate and mobilise towards it. You can sign up to join the mobilisation and get updates here.
Contact decision makers.
We need decision makers in Eskom and the government to know that people support a Green New Eskom. We must hold their feet to the fire, and push them. Find out how you can contact your decision makers at: GreenNewEskom.org/contact.
Organise a workshop.
Are you part of an organisation or community group that would want to learn more about a Green New Eskom? You can organise a workshop either online or in-person – COVID-willing. Learn more about organising workshops at: trainings.350.org
Protest or action.
Groups are welcome to organise their own protest, action, or art instalments in favour of a Green New Eskom. Whether targeting Eskom, government, or doing public facing actions, we encourage you to get involved. Find trips and tricks for actions here.
Have other ideas on how to win a Green New Eskom? Then contact us here below: