Earthlife Africa to protest false climate solutions solutions

Press Release: Earthlife Africa to protest false climate solutions solutions
Earthlife Africa Jhb


Johannesburg, 19th of October 2015, Earthlife Africa Jhb and its partner organisations will demonstrate tomorrow at the 4th South African Carbon Capture and Storage Conference. The activists wish to warn the South African Centre for Carbon Capture and Storage (SACCS) and the Department of Energy that Capture and Storage (CCS), like nuclear energy, is a false solution to the climate crisis. As the world heads once again towards the hottest year on record in recent history, and as the world waits in anticipation of an ambitious outcome from COP 21 in Paris; attempts to avoid real transition towards a sustainable future must be taken off the table all together.

When fossil fuels are burned they cause a release of carbon dioxide, which in turn causes temperature rise and climate change. CCS attempts to store carbon dioxide in another way, like underground, to avoid increasing the content of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere. But, CCS is an expensive and largely inefficient process. In South Africa carbon dioxide would actually have to be transported by trucks (or large pipelines) from the source of emissions to the places suitable for geological storage, which are offshore. Its an idea that that will require a lot of money and planning for very little result, and at a 20-30% energy penalty: the energy generated at power plant will be diverted into CCS instead of electricity. Renewable energy has none of these problems, and renewable energy has a proven track record in South Africa.

The demonstration will take place from 9:00 am to 10:30 am on the 20th of October 2015. Demonstrators will gather outside the 4th South African Conference for Carbon Capture and Storage to be held at the Capitol West Hotel on 20 West Road South in Sandton, Johannesburg.

Earthlife Africa Jhb also aims to remind the Minister of Energy, Tina Joemat- Pettersson, that the environmental justice group is waiting a response on the affidavit filed against her at the Cape Town High Court one week ago. In the affidavit, environmental justice organisations, Earthlife Africa Jhb and the Southern African Faith Communities Environment’ Institute (SAFCEI) have sought relief from the Minister of Energy and President Jacob Zuma that the procurement process for 9600 MW of nuclear energy is adjourned until lawful and constitutional procurement practises are followed.

Dominique Doyle, Energy Policy Officer, of Earthlife Africa Jhb, explains: “South Africa is ripe for the transition towards the green economy. The costs of renewable technologies continue to fall while the costs of dirty energy like coal and nuclear rise”. “Spending money on false solutions like CCS and nuclear energy makes no business sense at a time when the South African public is crying out for improved service delivery”.

Senior Programmes Officer at Earthlife Africa Jhb, Makoma Lekalakala, further insists that: “Lessons from the Medupi power station have taught us that there is no such thing as ‘ clean coal’ and that expressive technologies like CCS only delay solutions to the electricity crisis and force the electricity price to become more expensive for the ordinary consumer”. Flue Gas Desulperisation at Medupi was a condition of the World Bank loan, yet it remains unfulfilled”. Lekalakala concludes in saying that she is appalled to see the World Bank at the CCS conference continuing its discussion on false climate solutions with the South African government.

For more information, please contact:

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

Makoma Lekalakala
Senior Programme Officer
Tel: +27 11 339 3662
Cell: +27 82 682 9177

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