The Integrated Energy Plan has been published for public comment and analysis. All stakeholders have been engaging on South Africa’s energy mix, and how it will contribute to sustainable development. Friedrich Ebert Stiftung South Africa will be partnering with both the National Union of Mineworkers and the Sam Tambani Research Institute to discuss the future of energy planning in SA. The focus will be on employment, the just transition and workers interests.
Presently, South Africa’s economy is energy intensive and is designed around large-scale usage of fossil fuels making it one of the world’s highest emitters of greenhouse gases. The move to a low carbon economy is essential in ensuring the retardation of ecological and environmental degradation. However, transitioning to a low carbon economy requires modification of the current structure of the political economy to guarantee a just and seamless transition, bearing in mind improving human well-being and social equity.
Many South Africans are confronted by the challenge of energy poverty. These citizens do not have sufficient access to safe, reliable and affordable energy. This socio-economic challenge is prevalent in rural areas where most of the impoverished population resides. The usage of safe energy sources is very minimal in these localities, and community members do not have sufficient income to obtain the required levels of energy security.
Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung foundation has partnered with the Nelson Mandela Initiative to address energy poverty in rural areas. This will be done through the facilitation of an action dialogue with various participants from various organizations. Participants will be drawn from government, academia, NGOs and the business sector. The main objective of the dialogue is to create pragmatic and accessible interventions for introducing renewable energy solutions in rural areas.
The European internal energy market is drifting apart in important aspects, Europe’s security of supply is still not secured and energy prices are substantially higher than for example in the USA. It also had to be admitted that Europe’s pioneering role in climate change has failed to produce an international agreement. Hence, it was only natural that in 2014 a discussion about a possible reorientation of the instruments and objectives of European energy policy got underway. Read more in this new publication.
“South Africa should not be allowed to create new coal-fired power stations if it is to tackle its carbon emissions and meet the global goal of keeping temperature increases below 2 °C,” says South African environmental and antinuclear organisation Earthlife Africa energy policy officer Dominique Doyle.
At a Mapungubwe Institute for Strategic Reflection and Development Bank of Southern Africa panel discussion on how to tackle the transition to a lowcarbon economy, on Tuesday, she noted that the country produced 93% of its electricity from coal.
Mining and mineral beneficiation are held up as the path to economic development for South Africa. Yet these processes are often brutally disruptive for environments and communities. This semester the Society, Work and Development Institute (SWOP) is exploring some of their devastating consequences for workers, communities and the nature that we all depend on for life itself.
From 9-14 August, the Degrowth Summer School will take place in Erkelenz, Germany. Focusing on climate justice, participants will discuss the necessity to change our energy- and resource-intensive way of life, and will think about concrete solutions and alternatives. FES Sustainability is contributing with 2 workshops, see the full Programme here.
National Planning Commission (NPC) commissioner Tasneem Essop has highlighted a growing global movement against the continued use of coal as a source of energy, telling a panel discussion on Monday that South Africa’s coal-fired power station build programme and continued reliance on fossil fuels was, to some extent, the result of the entrenchment of the interest of large mineral resources firms in government.
“Why is public opinion indifferent to renewable energy as a solution to South Africa’s electricity crisis?” On 25 May 2015, SACSIS and the Friedrich Ebert Stiftung South Africa Office held a panel discussion with some of South Africa’s leading energy experts interrogating this question.
The aim of the Feminist Table workshops is to explore different aspects of the environmental crisis from a feminist perspective. It involves ‘dialogic learning’ in the sense of creating a shared and safe space in which women, from mainly grassroots organisations, can share their experiences, deepen their understanding and develop their collective strength.