What we do to stop climate change

Climate change impacts are being felt across the globe as sea levels rise, tropical storms smash into coastlines, once-fertile lands battle with floods or drought and permafrost in the polar regions melts. Although Africa contributes relatively little to global warming, the region is suffering from its effects.

Over 180 million people in sub-Saharan Africa alone could die as a result of climate change by the end of the century. Unpredictable rainfall patterns, lower crop yields, soaring food prices and dwindling natural resources are already causing increased human migration, tension and conflict.

South Africa - in a position to lead

South Africa can influence the battle against climate change, being an active member of the African Union, a vocal member of the G77, and one of the four developing countries poised to become a southern engine of global economic growth.

Its powerful combination of strong international leadership, progressive thinking and forward-looking policies are reflected in its calls for dramatic cuts in global greenhouse gas emissions and for mechanisms to help vulnerable countries adapt to the impacts of climate change.

Want to know more about the fight against climate change?
Download our reports:

The True Cost of Coal in South Africa

Catastrophic climate change and uncontrollable debt are burdens South Africans will have to bear for their government’s addiction to coal. On top of the escalating construction costs for Kusile, the monstrous coal-fired power plant, the country will have to pay up to R60.6 billion per year for the external costs associated with it.

Eskom should stop construction at Kusile and invest in renewable energy solutions, which guarantee thousands of new jobs, while there is still time. The true cost of building this power station is much more than South Africans can afford to pay.

The True Cost of Nuclear Power in South Africa
The True Cost of Nuclear report outlines South Africa’s costly nuclear history, its failure to learn from past mistakes, and how the country could leave dirty and dangerous energy behind by investing in renewables. To achieve a nuclear-free South Africa, whilst still reducing the country’s dependency on coal, the electricity sector needs to be the pioneer of renewable energy utilisation. According to our Advanced Energy [R]evolution, 49% of electricity can be produced from renewable sources by 2030, increasing to 94% by 2050.

 

Powering The Future: Renewable Energy Rollout in South Africa

What should be in store for our future?

The ground-breaking report, Powering the Future: Renewable Energy Roll-out in South Africa, debunks important myths about renewable energy generation; offers solutions to the barriers to its deployment; and presents success stories from across the globe.

South Africa can and should champion a renewable energy future, one in which we see increased access to cheap electricity, thousands of new jobs and the democratisation of energy production. An Energy [R]evolution is possible if our leaders are willing to champion the cause.

The Advanced Energy [R]evolution

South Africa can create around 150 000 new jobs in the energy sector in the next 20 years, and at the same time safeguard against catastrophic climate change -- according to Greenpeace's 'Advanced Energy [R]evolution' report.

'The Advanced Energy [R]evolution' is a detailed and practical blueprint for cutting carbon emissions, replacing fossil fuels and nuclear power with renewable energy, and growing the economy. It is one of the most comprehensive plans to resolve the country’s need for energy security and a sustainable energy future, ever.

The report shows that renewable energy is mature, ready for implementation, and can be deployed on a large scale. It means that as renewable energy is scaled up, we can start phasing out coal, an energy source incompatible with the goal of avoiding runaway climate change.

 

Water Hungry Coal: Burning South Africa's water to produce electricity

South Africa is a water scarce country facing an impending water crisis. According to the National Water Act (Act no. 36 of 1998) the government, as trustee of the nation’s water resources, must allocate water equitably, and in the public interest. South Africa’s electricity utility is the country’s only strategic water user. This means that Eskom gets first priority in water use come hell or high water.

Ironically, burning coal to produce electricity is an incredibly water intensive process, with a number of serious implications for both water quantity and quality. In one second, Eskom uses the same amount of water as a single person would use within one year, based on access to the minimum 25 litres of water per day. This means that Eskom’s new coal-fired power stations will use substantial amounts of water, putting South Africa’s water resources at risk, and increasing the potential for future conflicts over water.

 

The latest updates

 

World Water Day: Greenpeace demands more commitment to defend South African people’s...

Press release | March 22, 2018 at 13:46

22 March 2018, Johannesburg – This year, South Africa will observe World Water Week under the ominous cloud of the Cape Town water crisis, and the stark reality of long-term water scarcity in South Africa and beyond our borders. The spotlight on...

Sabotaging renewable energy will continue to cost South Africans

Press release | March 13, 2018 at 11:41

Johannesburg, 13 March 2018: Responding to the news that the National Union of Metalworkers of South Africa (Numsa) and Transform RSA were granted an urgent court interdict late last night preventing the signature of 27 contracts with renewable...

Mega coal plants versus people of South Africa:

Feature story | March 8, 2018 at 11:36

South Africa is currently facing up to the reality of a mega water crisis over three provinces. The water crisis has been declared a national disaster, which means that the national government recognises that the impacts of the water crisis go...

Greenpeace calls for decrease in meat and dairy production and consumption for a...

Press release | March 5, 2018 at 14:25

5 March 2018, Amsterdam - Global meat and dairy production and consumption must be cut in half by 2050 to avoid dangerous climate change and keep the Paris Agreement on track, says a new Greenpeace report.

Greenpeace hopes for stability and consistency for South Africa’s energy future

Press release | February 27, 2018 at 16:08

27 February 2018, Johannesburg – Last night’s cabinet reshuffle saw Jeff Radebe move from Minister in the Presidency to the critical position of Minister of Energy. Over the last year, the department of energy saw three ministers taking the...

Greenpeace Africa critiques the budget speech failure to support a new energy future

Press release | February 21, 2018 at 17:00

Johannesburg, 21 February 2018 - Responding to Minister of Finance Malusi Gigaba’s budget speech, Greenpeace Africa’s Political Advisor, Happy Khambule has said:

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