Sabotaging renewable energy will continue to cost South Africans

Press release - March 13, 2018
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 energy IPPs today, Happy Khambule, Greenpeace Africa’s Senior Political Advisor has said:

“Greenpeace strongly condemns the court interdict, which is clearly a move to sabotage renewable energy in favour of coal. We no longer live in a world where renewable energy should be viewed as a threat, and to do so, stands in the way of progress. The reality is that renewable energy creates new. sustainable opportunities that will grow the green economy and enable a just transition away from coal. A just transition is not a nice-to-have, it is imperative.

Globally, coal is a dying industry because it is driving catastrophic climate change, it is creating significant air pollution and illnesses, and is increasingly being mechanised, which means fewer jobs. Meanwhile, despite the barriers, the renewable energy industry has been steadily creating new job opportunities and has the potential to create many thousands more. It is one of the fastest growing and most innovative sectors across the world. Claims made by Numsa that renewable energy will push up the price of electricity are clearly false: numerous studies have shown that renewable energy is the least cost electricity choice. It is inexplicable for Numsa to be defending and protecting the coal industry, which disproportionately exploits people and natural resources in pursuit of profits.

The coal industry uses massive amounts of water. In the midst of one of the most significant water crises in living memory, it is important to remember that we are essentially burning our rivers to produce electricity from coal, while solar PV and wind are essentially water-free technologies. We can’t live without water, there are alternatives to coal, but there are no alternatives to water. It is time to make better choices.

Greenpeace Africa trust that the courts will see reason, and finally allow the renewable energy projects to go ahead.” 

Media contacts: 

; Communications Officer: Climate and Energy; 082 614 2676