In the opinion piece "Mania for renewable energy has soon to come up against reality", Phillip Lloyd says renewable energy is not only a pipe dream, but that it is unnecessary. He could not be more wrong

Prof Lloyd qualifies reductions of our carbon emissions as "merely nice". Such a statement is inconceivable and disregards our planet’s future. Climate change is the biggest problem facing the world . Emissions reductions are not "nice", but crucial. Without reducing carbon emissions the world is heading towards unstoppable climate change with major consequences. And the world’s poorest are most vulnerable .

The evolution from dirty energy to renewable energy is a necessary one. Arguing that this is not possible because of historical investments in coal and nuclear energy is untrue. The coal industry has been steadily losing jobs for the past 20 years, and new investments are needed now to replace old power plants. SA has some of the best renewable energy resources in the world and investing in clean energy means creating thousands of jobs.

It is absurd to argue that SA does not have to act because "any reduction we may make will affect the world’s carbon balance hardly one iota". Although emissions reductions in the most polluting countries such as China and the US are crucial, SA is ranked the 12th highest emitter in the world. SA contributes to climate change and we need to act to stop it. And contrary to Prof Lloyd’s opinion, the reality is that small changes make a big difference.