100 signatures reached
To: Minister of Mineral Resources and Energy and NERSA
Tell the Department of Mineral Resources and Energy to End New Coal
The #CancelCoal campaign is a joint coalition campaign by the African Climate Alliance, Vukani Environmental Movement, groundWork and the Centre for Environmental Rights to call for the end of new coal in South Africa.
Poorly regulated mining and coal-fired power generation in the country are worsening air and water pollution, causing health impacts, loss of biodiversity and destruction to arable land. The burning of coal is also the biggest contributor to climate change and we are already experiencing climate impacts now. Coal is violating the right to life, health, water, food, culture and a healthy environment for us all but especially for hundreds of communities across South Africa who are already directly facing the terrible impacts of coal.
The campaign is running alongside a case calling on the government to abandon its current plans to build 1 500 MW of new coal-fired power in South Africa. The case clearly lays out that there is no justifiable basis for the limitation of constitutional rights due to coal because cleaner and less harmful renewable energy is both a feasible and cheaper alternative to new coal power.
We ask you to join us in calling on the government to:
- Take immediate steps to protect the rights of mining-affected communities and youth by abandoning the plans to develop 1500MW of new coal-fired power capacity
- Increase public and private investments into renewable energy alternatives
- Work together with relevant stakeholders to create and implement sustainable policies for South Africa’s energy planning
- Prohibit mining in places where it might violate human rights or cause substantial harm to the environment on which communities depend
- Empower young people to contribute in shaping energy policies and decisions that affect them
Why is this important?
The burning of coal is accelerating the climate crisis that is already devastating poor communities across the country. KwaZulu Natal was hit by two devastating floods exacerbated by climate change in a span of two weeks. As a result, 489 people lost their lives, 12 000 homes were lost and 40 000 people were displaced. Poor communities are hit hardest by weather disasters like these as their frequency and intensity increase. Meanwhile children in mining affected communities are bearing the brunt of the impact of coal on health with increased cases of respiratory illnesses being recorded. The country is also currently experiencing a load shedding crisis that is leaving millions of South Africans with several hours of power outages a day. Investing in renewable alternatives will increase the load in our electric grid in a sustainable way that does not further endanger communities or the environment. The government is justifying investments into new coal with the ongoing load-shedding crisis. However, coal will not solve these problems. Extracting more coal from the Earth instead of addressing corruption and developing measures to strengthen governance with Eskom will likely exacerbate the load shedding crisis in the long term. This also threatens to create long-term economic and job losses as industries across the world transition away from coal.