WWF's Earth Hour City Challenge (EHCC) has awarded Cape Town, South Africa the title Global Earth Hour Capital 2014. Cape Town is recognised for its ambition and pioneering actions to combat climate change in its effort to bolster quality of life for its citizens. Cape Town succeeds last year's winner Vancouver, Canada.
The judges found that Cape Town stood out as a role model for the global South with a showcase of green programmes and actions other cities can replicate. Cape Town also demonstrates how city strategies to reduce carbon development and battle climate change can also help tackle other development priorities such as food, energy and water security.
Parallel to the big mining corporations and governments annual conference - Mining Indaba. An event where the above-mentioned gather every year to talk about ways to expand the mining industry - which involves building more strategies to steal more land from peasant producers, pollute their water and air, over 200 delegates from Angola, Botswana, Brazil, Canada, Ethiopia, Malawi, Mauritius, Mozambique, Myanmar, Norway, South Africa, Sweden, Tanzania, USA, United Kingdom, Zambia and Zimbabwe gathered in Cape Town to attend the fifth Alternative Mining Indaba (AMI). The conference took place on the 4th up to the 7th of February 2014 at Ritz Hotel in Sea Point.
The Alternative Mining Indaba provided a dialogue for communities and civil society organizations to discuss progress made in improving the socio-economic and environmental impacts of mining on communities.
The Alternative Information and Development Centre (AIDC) and World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF-SA) in partnership with City of Cape Town are bringing South Africa the first ever Renewable Energy Festival. The event will be on the 8th February 2014 at Urban Park, Green Point - Cape Town. This initiative arises from two key Renewable Energy interventions that are run by WWF-SA and AIDC that focus on issues related to environmental and socio-economic justice. These initiatives seek to promote the necessity for a transition to Renewable Energy as a sustainable solution to the looming environmental and unemployment crisis in South Africa.
Seize your Power, a campaign run by WWF-SA, urges government and financial institutions to increase investment in renewable energy that seeks to show the environmental, social and economic risks of the dependence on dirty energy such as coal, oil and gas.
The International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) today launched a pioneering new report on employment in the renewable energy sector, Renewable Energy and Jobs. The first global study of its kind, it features new data on employment within the sector, as well as recommendations for policy makers. In 2012, employment in renewable energy worldwide stood at 5.7 million with the potential for adding 11 million jobs in the years to 2030.
"The new report helps to bridge a knowledge gap in terms of specific analytical work and empirical evidence on a global scale, which to date has been limited,"Rabia Ferroukhi, Senior Programme Officer at IRENA and lead author of the report, said. "Our report creates a greater understanding of how renewable energy generates jobs and wealth. It is a breakthrough for informed policy choices in this important area."
The announcement in 2009 of the Department of Energy (DoE) of a guaranteed so called "feed-in" tariff for Renewable Energy electricity made those tariffs amongst the highest in the world. The promise was R 1.25/kWh for wind, R3.95 for photo-voltaic (PV) solar power. This promise of easy and big profits resulted in a sudden rush of interest by RE companies. Some were South African but most were from Europe and the US.
It was clear that the DoE had given little thought as to how and who was to pay for these lucrative tariffs in a country sharply divided on class lines like South Africa. Putting the DoE's feed-in tariff into perspective, average kilo watt hour (kWh) producer prices were then around R0.35 but, because of ESKOM's price hikes starting from 2009, are now almost double that amount.
Whether or not divine intervention was behind the timing of the devastating typhoon that struck the Philippines, in early November 2013, days before the world leaders gathered to confront the catastrophe of climate change, Typhoon Haiyan provided a most sobering reminder that, in the words of one of the world's leading climatologists, 'The future is now. And it is hot.'
The Head of the Philippines delegation to the UN body, inelegantly called COP, used the occasion of the typhoon-caused death of more than 6,000 of his countrymen and the displacement of over 3.9 million more to make was is probably the most impassioned plea ever heard at any of the previous 18 annual meetings of the COPs. He implored the conference delegates to have the courage to take the steps they all knew were vital – and much delayed – if typhoons and other extreme weather events were not to become the fate of the world.
He was ignored. In protest, he went on a hunger strike for the remaining11 days of COP 19. He remained ignored.
Unlike the leaders, however, civil society groups attending this jamboree in Warsaw heard his cries.
We wish to acknowledge the support of the Friedrich Ebert Stiftung for the Climate Jobs work of AIDC.