29 August 2019, Johannesburg — President Cyril Ramaphosa made comments at the G7 summit this week calling for international political players to rally with South Africa in mitigating climate change. In response, Happy Khambule, Greenpeace Africa’s Senior Political Advisor, has said:

“President Ramaphosa’s charm offensive at the G7 is a clear indication of how the South African government is still able to say all the right things, yet consistently does the wrong things when implementation beckons. 

“The President’s priorities at the G7 were clear: to situate South Africa as an international investment destination while projecting the country as a willing and progressive actor on climate change. A closer reading of the statements reveals the reality, which is that the South African government still lacks vision and comprehension of the urgency around the climate crisis.

“South Africa is in a climate emergency and, there is an urgent need to mitigate emissions, but there is also need for adaptation so that we can increase our resilience and decrease our vulnerability to the extreme impacts of the climate crisis. 

“Greenpeace Africa commends the president for highlighting some key issues, such as the just transition from fossil fuels to renewable energy, but this does not reconcile with continued investments in coal.  The fact that South African government does not have a semblance of a just transition plan indicates how seriously the state takes the transition – or doesn’t.

“With global sectors and investments moving towards a post-carbon world, South Africa risks undertaking an unjust transition with its sectors unaccounted for and no programme to address emerging impacts on them,” ended Khambule.

Media contact:

Chris Vlavianos, Greenpeace Africa Communications Officer, cvlavian@greenpeace.org, 079 883 7036