Press Release: Earthlife Africa Jhb marches against a failed COP and for urgent local action

Press Release: Earthlife Africa Jhb marches against a failed COP and for urgent local action
08 December 2015, Johannesburg
Earthlife Africa

Johannesburg, 8th of December 2015, On Friday the 11th of December 2015, Earthlife Africa Johannesburg and its partner community organisations will join hands in solidarity against the failure of world leaders to take meaningful action against catastrophic climate change. While the COP 21 climate negotiations are still in progress in Paris, Earthlife Africa Johannesburg maintains that the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) has failed world citizens who will ultimately carry the climate burden. Despite COP being in its 21st session, global greenhouse gases continue to rise, and the earth is on the brink of runaway temperature rise. It is clear that the international climate governance regime is a farce, and local action is the urgent last hope.

Earthlife Africa and its partner community organisations will march on the last day of COP 21. The 11th of December 2015. The march will commence from the Eskom Regional Offices at 206 Smit street braamfontein, move to the Johannesburg City Council located at 154 Loveday Street in Braamfontein, and then return to Eskom regional offices. The march will begin at 9 am for 10am, and end at 1 pm.

“The power”, according to Earthlife Africa Johannesburg’s Makoma Lekalakala, “is in the City of Johannesburg’s hands. The city chooses to continue buying power from the Kelvin coal-fired power station in Kempton Park, which not only produces massive amounts of carbon dioxide, but also pollutes Johannesburg’s water and ambient air quality. The city must invest in clean and safe renewable energy to provide for the electricity needs of its citizens”.

Burning coal to produce electricity contributes 46 % of the worlds total carbon dioxide emissions [1], and so is an easy hanging fruit in terms of a real transition towards a sustainable future. “Eskom”, according to Energy Policy Officer at Earthlife Africa Johannesburg Dominique Doyle “is alone responsible for half of South Africa’s total carbon dioxide emissions, leading South Africa to be the 14th highest emitter in the world”. “South Africa is eating into the carbon budget of the least developed countries in Africa, yet it continues to expand its dirty coal addiction ”. The moment is ripe for South Africa to invest in, and become a world leader in, renewable technology.

Community organisations joining in the Earthlife Africa Johannesburg march are united in their demand that the City of Johannesburg wakes up and takes action against climate change. It is unacceptable to wait because climate change won’t. Climate change is already undermining many development efforts in poor communities, forcing vulnerable people to adapt their ways of life to increasingly extreme weather events. In the face of such an uncertain future, communities ask how it is even possible that Eskom is even considering more coal-fired power stations in the Waterberg region of Limpopo province.

1. International Energy Agency. (2015). “Data from CO2 emissions from fuel combustion”. Available online at: https://www.iea.org/media/news/2015/news/151104_webarticle_CO2_FINAL.pdf Retrieved on 7th December 2015

For more information, please contact:

Makoma Lekalakala
Senior Programme Officer
Tel: +27 11 339 3662
Cell: +27 82 682 9177
Email: makoma@earthlife.org.za
Website: www.earthlife.org.za

Dominique Doyle
Tel: + 27 11 339 3662
Cell: +27 79 331 2028
Email: dominique@earthlife.org.za
Website: www.earthlife.org.za

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