The world's largest ever march against climate change on Sunday (21 September) brought 400,000 people to the streets of New York, starting a lively parade at Central Park. On Tuesday, 120 of the world's political leaders -- notably not including the Chinese and Indians -- gathered 25 blocks away at the United Nations. The message they got from society was symbolized by the march route: instead of heading toward the UN building, the activists headed the other way, west. This directional choice reveals that hope for action on climate change comes not from the apparently paralysed heads of state and their corporate allies, who again consistently failed on the most powerful challenge society has ever faced: to make greenhouse gas emissions cuts necessary to halt certain chaos.
Instead, momentum has arisen largely from grassroots activists, even those fighting under the worst conditions possible, amidst denialism, apathy, corporate hegemony, widespread political corruption and pervasive consumer materialism. Nowhere is this better illustrated than in the place which according to Pew Rese
arch polling of major countries, suffers the second most poorly educated citizenry on climate (only 40 per cent acknowledge it is a crisis): the United States itself.
Early this year the One Million Climate Jobs Campaign (OMCJC) National Steering Committee members plus additional representatives from targeted provinces came together to strategize around how to implement the 100 000 signature campaign in their provinces. The OMCJC later held an activists training workshop. These workshops were aimed at deepening the knowledge of the activists on issues related to climate change, its politics and the unemployment issues.
For the past four months activists in various provinces have been working very hard collecting signature, mobilizing and educating communities about the impacts of climate change, the unemployment crisis and the alternative solutions proposed by the OMCJC. Rhona Riet from the Vaal Environmental Justice Alliance, and a fellow environmental activist, Rantaudi Mashoabathi, travelled from Saoslburg to Heilbron to collect signitures. They used Saturday 9 August, a public holiday commemorating the struggle of women for equality in South Africa, to talk to the community about the One Million Climate Jobs Campaign.
The workshop held on the 26 June 2014 sought to address the need for an agreed strategy and structure for coordinating activities in the Western Cape.
The workshop was attendedby a variety of groups including faith-based, trade unions, environmental justice, community, health and other sector specific organizations. Organizations spent time-sharing some of the work they have been doing under the climate change and climate jobs banner. They were also given space to collectively plan future initiatives. Rev Rachel Mash from the Green Anglican shared some of the climate change mitigation initiatives they have been involved in as the church; these include projects such as tree planting and anti-fracking campaigns. "Loving and caring for the earth is what is at the centre of the work of the Green Anglican Church", said Rev Rachel Mash.
Other organizations identified potential climate jobs creationopportunities in their areas of work. The Environmental Monitoring Group (EMG) identified some areas of work in which jobs could be created, these include cleaning and management of wetlands and rivers close to communities.
South African's Renewable Energy Independent Power Producer Procurement programme: 2014 Report Review
RENEWABLE ENERGY INDEPENDENT POWER PRODUCER PROCUREMENT PROGRAMME (REI4P)
Renewable Energy is the long-term future for South Africa. The REI4P of the Department of Energy (DoE) aims to assist the transition away from South Africa's dependence on fossil fuel generated electricity, and contributes to the climate mitigation targets that President Zuma committed South Africa to in December 2009. South Africa's REI4P was one of the programmes identified as a climate change flagship programme in the National Climate Change Response white paper published in 2011, and provides the opportunity for socio-economic benefits over and above low-carbon electricity generation. Given the importance of this programme to community development, this research reviewed the implementation of the REI4P progress to date.
WHAT IS REI4P?
The REI4P was launched in South Africa in 2011, with the goal to deliver 3,725MW of renewable energy by 2016, and to contribute towards social-economic and environmentally sustainable development. Eskom's current total installed capacity is 41,900MW. To reach the 2016 target, the DoE has planned for five bidding windows over 2 years. Proposals (bids) are evaluated according to many criteria, including the socio-economic development potential of the project. Local communities (within a 50km radius) should benefit from the RE projects through local job creation, enterprise & community development and local ownership of the projects. These conditions are far above the standards of other government procurement requirements. In addition, with each round of bidding, the localisation requirement increases. This sets a clear priority for job creation and socio-economic development. To date there have been 3 complete rounds (bidding windows) with a total of 64 approved RE projects out of 216 bids submitted so far, with Kalkbult 75MW Solar PV power station being the first connected to the grid in 2013.
UXBRIDGE, Canada, Sep 22 2014 (IPS) - Acting on climate change will not hurt domestic economic growth, and in fact is more likely to boost growth, most analyses now show. The latest to confirm the dictum that swift action is eminently affordable is the recent report by the Global Commission on the Economy and Climate, released on the eve of the Sep. 23 U.N. Climate Summit in New York.
"There is no reason to fear that more ambitious action to reduce carbon emissions will have a high economic cost,"said economist Robert Repetto, an International Institute for Sustainable Development (IISD) fellow and former professor at Yale University. "Those claiming the costs of climate action will be high represent the economic sectors that will be adversely affected,"Repetto told IPS. These include the fossil fuel industries and others that profit from burning carbon including railroads, pipeline and other industries. Repetto was not involved in the Global Commission's report by the U.N., the OECD group of rich countries, the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank, and co-authored by leading climate economist Lord Nicholas Stern. Repetto agrees with their findings that the costs of acting on climate now will not hurt economies but delaying action will be extraordinarily costly.
Sign Our Petition
10 000 South Africans are supporting the need for the creation of One Million Climate Jobs. Join them, sign our petition. And then keep an eye on our progress on the chart, below:
We wish to acknowledge the support of the Friedrich Ebert Stiftung for the Climate Jobs work of AIDC.