SA organizations call for clean energy development

Image: opic.gov

Earthlife Africa is calling for a transition to low carbon development in South Africa, with less coal and no nuclear.

Speaking during public hearings about South Africa’s draft Integrated Resource Plan (IRP) at Parliament’s Portfolio Committee on Energy on Tuesday, Earthlife Africa’s Makoma Lekalakala said the plan was fixated on centralized electricity generation and did not put South Africa in a position to reduce emissions to the required level.

“The plan must protect our climate, water and health,” Lekalakala said.

Environmental justice organization Groundwork, who is advocating for a ban on coal with a campaign called ‘CoalKills,’ criticised the draft IRP, saying it refused to recognize the real consequences of emissions and was in ‘climate denial.’

Groundwork Director, Bobby Peek told the portfolio committee that South Africa was the world’s 14th largest emitter of greenhouse gases (GHGs) and the largest GHG emitter on the African continent. Adding that state-owned utility company, Eskom accouted for 20 to 25 percent of Africa’s GHG emissions.

“We need to move away from the minerals energy complex, which relies on cheap energy and cheap labour to make huge profits for the mining elite. We need to shut down the coal-fired power plants, with a just transition, based on renewables,” he said.