On Tuesday 30 April 2019, 350Africa.org along with Earthlife Africa and #ThumaMinaDBSA petition supporters hand-delivered over 8000 names which support the call for the Development Bank of Southern Africa (DBSA) to publically commit to not finance the Thabametsi coal-fired power plant.
The names were handed over to Paul Currie, Chief Investment Officer at the DBSA who sincerely conveyed how the bank assesses infrastructure financing applications. We reiterated that the banks screening policies are too lenient on prospective coal financing and that the DBSA has a duty to ensure that projects the bank finances are in the wider public interest and that they are not funding harmful and risky projects like coal-fired power stations which speed up climate change.
This delivery does not mark the end of the campaign. It is a tipping point as we ramp up efforts to constructively engage the DBSA on initiating climate-friendly policies that reflect a progressive energy transition that both tackles climate change and delivers upon a prosperous low carbon economy in South Africa.
350Africa.org calls on the DBSA to develop a stand-alone fossil fuel strategy that fully excludes coal and integrates climate change strategies across their operations to meeting South Africa’s fair share of keeping warming to 1.5C as communicated by the worlds foremost collection of climate scientists.
While the DBSA through the Green Climate Fund (GCF) facility appears to be taking comprehensive action on climate change and the transition to a low carbon economy, the bank is not moving fast enough to contribute to South Africa’s Nationally Determined Contribution (NDC) to keeping warming well below 2C – an NDC which is itself far short of South Africa’s fair share of keeping warming to well below 2C never mind 1.5C. To date, the bank’s approach to climate change has not been ambitious or clear enough to avoid catastrophic climate impacts.
350Africa.org challenges DBSA to play a stronger role in ensuring that South Africa is doing its fair share in a global effort to slash carbon emissions to net zero by 2050 and ensure that South Africa is not left behind as the country’s peers move forward towards a fossil free future.
Author: Ahmed Mokgopo, 350Africa Divestment Campaigner