Press Release: Earthlife Africa march on the French Consulate to demand an end to coal

Earthlife Africa Jhb

Tomorrow, on the 15th of May 2015, Earthlife Africa Johannesburg and over a thousand protesters will march on the French consulate in Johannesburg. They demand that the French government and the French company, Engie (formally GDF Suez) stop supporting dirty coal in South Africa and support sustainable renewable energy instead. France will host COP 21 this year, and its plan to build the Thabametsi power station in South Africa will be a stain on it’s climate leader image.

Earthlife Africa Johannesburg will march from the Johannesburg Alliance Francaise located at 17 Lower Park Drive, Parkview Johannesburg to the French Consulate situated in the Standard Bank building at 191 Jan Smuts Avenue Parktown North. The march will take place between 10:00am and 13:00pm.

Pickets will also take place outside Engie’s offices in Woodmead Johannesburg, located at 6-10 Woodlands Drive, from 10:00 am to 12:00 pm; and at the French Embassy in Pretoria, located at 250 Melk Street Nieuw Muckleneuk in Pretoria, from 10:00 am to 12:00pm. But the major event will be the march to the French Consulate in Johannesburg.

Energy Policy Officer at Earthlife Africa Johannesburg, Dominique Doyle explains: “Thabametsi power station will be a climate bomb for South Africa. Thabamesti is a sign that France is not serious about the global effort to mitigate climate change”. While Earthlife Africa Jhb’s Makoma Lekalakala says: “France should have learnt their lesson by now with the Medupi and Kusile failures. Coal is not the answer to energy poverty”.

The Earthlife Africa Johannesburg march on the French Consulate is receiving international support. Young Friends of the Earth France will hold a demonstration in solidarity in Paris on the same day. They call on their government and energy company to divest from dirty energy in developing countries like South Africa.

Earthlife Africa Johannesburg:
Makoma Lekalakala
Senior Programme Manager
Tel: +27 11 339 3662
Cell: +27 82 682 9177

Dominique Doyle
Energy Policy Officer
Tel: +27 11 339 3662
Cell: +27 79 331 2028

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