Go renewable, get more jobs, Greenpeace urges President Zuma

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Press release - February 9, 2011
As President Zuma prepares for his State of the Nation Address tomorrow, Greenpeace urges him to put South Africa on track for a clean and sustainable energy future, thus providing a number of new jobs, as part of his move to declare 2011 the year of job creation.

Johannesburg -- In 2010, the president announced that policy changes to create jobs would be one of the most urgent focuses, it is expected that this will be no different in 2011. What is crucial is that the South African government creates space for renewable energy – few other industries offer as many opportunities as this emerging energy industry does in South Africa.

With the international climate negotiations (COP 17) taking place in Durban later this year, South Africa will once again be placed in the spotlight as over 30 0000 government negotiators from 192 countries and observers from around the world descend on the city. Hosting this event will push South Africa’s domestic climate change and energy agenda firmly into the international spotlight.

However, with two massive new coal-fired power stations under construction, and 6 new nuclear power stations being considered, the country does not have much to brag about right now. In fact, the need for change and action that President Zuma focused so heavily on in his 2010 state of the nation address has only become more urgent.

“The only way to build a better future is for the South African government to leave coal and nuclear in its dirty past and instead invest in progressive large-scale implementation of renewable energy. That would be the sign of true leadership, putting the best interests of the South African people first” said Melita Steele, climate campaigner for Greenpeace Africa.

 

For more information contact:

Fiona Musana, Communications Director Greenpeace Africa: +27 (0) 795129381

Melita Steele, Climate and Energy Campaigner: +27 (0) 725608703