Climate Change Research

This section holds Earthlife Africa Jhb’s and SECCP’s discussions, results and conclusions from their climate change research.

The following topics were covered in the past:

We also use this section to make information from other sources available:

  • Climate Change is Real an infographic to easily access some facts about the impacts of climate change (some US focus)
Climate Change Research

Long Term Mitigation Scenarios:

In July 2008, the South African cabinet endorsed the outcomes of the Long Term Mitigation Scenarios (LTMS) process, which explored South Africa’s options for climate change mitigation in a multistakeholder process. The mere fact that the process took place in a political economy dominated by centralised, energy intensive and dirty industries, is an achievement. But will decision makers on industrial and energy policy accept its implications? And does the LTMS represent an adequate response to the challenges of climate change?

The following report (download link below) observes that the LTMS process was not representative of South Africans, but skewed to current dominant economic players in terms of representation, sources of information and modelling assumptions. Some of its assumptions are highly questionable, such as the belief that carbon capture and storage is a viable technology, the real effects of energy efficiency measures in an economy striving for growth, and the view that nuclear energy is an appropriate response to climate change.

Earthlife Africa Johannesburg acknowledges the work that went into the LTMS, but wants to encourage an open, well-informed public debate that campaigns for people directed solutions to climate change.

The real South African response to climate change will be an open-ended process of transition to a society in which people are actively and consciously making the decisions that shape their collective future. It will not be a smooth process nor is the outcome certain. How things take shape will depend on what emerges from struggles, how people learn from struggle and from doing, and where they decide to take things from there.

This paper puts forward a set of arguments and takes some strong positions but it is not intended as the last word. Rather, the SECCP hopes that it contributes to people‚Äôs debates in their organisations, through their networks and in the places where they live and work. It hopes to share in a continuing dialogue but believes that it is the conclusions and decisions for action that people come to that are important.

Download the entire critique (pdf): LTMS Critique

Climate Change Research

Capital Meltdown:

Capital Melt Down, Kyoto and civil society

A discussion paper on the Kyoto Protocol, Carbon Trading and Civil Society

The Kyoto Protocol to the United Nations Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) expires in 2012. The nation states that constitute the parties to the Convention are now negotiating an agreement to succeed Kyoto. These negotiations are scheduled to be completed at the Copenhagen conference of the parties (COP) in December 2009. The process indicates that this agreement will expand on Kyoto, retaining the carbon trading mechanisms that are at its core.

In March 2009 the South African government plans to hold a national climate summit. The summit is slated to discuss:

South Africa’s own response to climate change and the positions it will adopt at Copenhagen.

The terms of debate for South Africa’s own response have been laid out in the Long Term Mitigation Scenarios (LTMS), a research process commissioned by the Department of Environmental Affairs and Tourism (DEAT), the conclusions of which were adopted by Cabinet in July 2008. SECCP published a critical appraisal of the LTMS in September.

This paper is a companion SECCP’s LTMS Critique focusing on the climate regime created by Kyoto. While South Africa’s negotiating position for Copenhagen will be discussed at the March summit, government’s position is in fact largely pre-scripted. South Africa has repeatedly expressed its commitment to carbon trading and to the expansion of the Clean Development Mechanism (CDM) in particular.

This paper discusses how carbon trading under Kyoto relates to global capital and the current crisis of capitalism and, in the light of that, reflects on civil society’s response to Kyoto. It concludes that people and organisations campaigning on climate change should now interrogate their own positions. As with the LTMS paper, this paper aims to contribute to people’s debates within their organisations, movements and networks. The SECCP hopes to share in a continuing dialogue but believes that it is the conclusions and decisions for action that people come to that are important.

Download the entire Capital Meltdown paper.

(The Capital Meltdown paper has a broken link on all WayBack Machine captures. I am looking for it in our archives)

Climate Change Research

Climate Change Report 2009:

Climate Change Report 2009 – EXECUTIVE SUMMARY

by Earthlife Africa Jhb and Oxfam International

In climate terms, South Africa is already living on the edge. Much of it is arid or semi-arid and the whole country is subject to droughts and floods. Even small variations in rainfall or temperatures would exacerbate this already stressed environment. Most South African crops are grown in areas that are only just climatically suitable and with limited water supplies.

But that climate is set to change for the worse because of rising global emissions of greenhouse gases (GHGs). Indeed, there are already ominous signs of change that dry seasons are becoming longer and wet seasons starting later. Rainfall is reported to be becoming even more variable, with rain coming in more concentrated, violent bursts. When the Government of South Africa used internationally agreed scientific computer models to explore the potential impacts of climate change on South Africa over the next 50 years, it predicted:

  • A continental warming of between 1° and 3° Celsius.
  • Broad reductions of approximately 5-10% of current rainfall, but with higher rainfall in the east and drier conditions in the west of South Africa
  • Increased summer rainfall in the northeast and the southwest, but a reduction of the duration of the summer rains in the northeast, and an overall reduction of rainfall in the southwest of South Africa
  • Increased rainfall in the northeast of the country during the winter season
  • Increased daily maximum temperatures in summer and autumn in the western half of the country
  • Weather conditions with a reduction in frost, which could see malaria mosquitoes expand their range onto the Highveld

As the climate changes, it is South Africa’s poor, the majority of the population, who will be the hardest hit. Climate change worsens existing vulnerabilities and adds to the pressures on the environment and natural resources on which so many South Africans directly rely. Climate change could increase the prevalence and distribution of vector-borne diseases such as malaria and dengue fever and water-borne diseases such as cholera and dysentery. Such things mean that people living with HIV and AIDS in particular would experience increased risks.

South Africa has been playing an influential role as a developing country in the international negotiations even though it is not yet obliged to make commitments to reduce emissions. But South Africa is also part of the problem – the largest emitter of green house gases on the African continent and home to the world’s biggest single emitter of CO2 …

For the full executive summary and the entire report, please download the Climate Change Report 2009 (1MB).

As an alternative download site, please us Oxfam’s link.

This report was written by Ferrial Adam and Rehana Dada.

Climate Change Research

Climate Chronicle:

Climate Chronicle–COP15

Climate Chronicle is a newsletter produced in Copenhagen, giving the latest news from COP15 and climate struggles across the globe. It is produced collectively by the Institute for Security Studies, Carbon Trade Watch, and Earthlife Africa Jhb. Please download (below) and enjoy.






Bankrolling Climate Change:

NGOs urgewald and BankTrack, along with South Africa organisations groundWork and Earthlife Africa Jhb, have released a report into private banks funding of climate change.

Download report here: Climate Killer Banks

Climate Change is Real

Climate Change is Real:

February 26, 2013

Campaigns, Climate change, Climate Change Research, Research

Since the Industrial Age spurred the increasing usage of fossil fuels for energy production, the weather has been warming. Despite some naysayers with alternative theories about why global temperatures are rising – including the idea that the earth goes through natural temperature cycles every few millennia – the dramatic changes in the earth’s atmospheric makeup suggests humans are to blame. In fact, 97% of scientists agree humans are responsible for climate change. Since the Industrial Revolution, carbon dioxide levels increased 38% because of humans, methane levels have increased 148%, nitrous oxide is up 15%.

Check out the infographic below to see what else the changing climate is affecting – and where you see fit, share the information. Please note that Earthlife Africa Johannesburg has covered one section of the infographic as the information could not be verified.

Thanks to for sharing.