Climate News

Call to declare a climate change state of emergency

In mid January 350Africa, EarthLore and Womin called on the South African government to declare a climate change state of emergency and stop the issuing of water licenses. This was in particular reference to water use licenses granted to coal mining. The organisations drew attention to the water scarcity that many communities face on a daily basis and the current drought which has reduced water reserves and affected crop yields. Mining is the third largest water consumer in South Africa, and water that is used in mining is contaminated beyond purification.

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Signing Ceremony for the Paris Agreement

This week United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-moon invited world leaders to a signing ceremony for the Paris Agreement. This will be held on 22 April 2016 at the UN headquarters in New York. He said that leaders’ participation could “provide for the smooth finalisation of the operational details needed to give effect to the provisions of the new agreement”. For the Paris agreement to take legal effect, it should be ratified by at least 55 countries, accounting for at least 55 per cent of global greenhouse gas emissions.

USD10 billion pledged to Africa Renewable Energy Initiative

During COP21 the Africa Renewable Energy Initiative (AREI), which plans to establish a long term programme of renewable energy build across several Africa countries, received about USD 10 billion in pledges. Germany pledged USD 3.25 billion, Sweden USD 500 million, France USD 2.2 billion and Canada CAD 110 million. The initiative was developed with the intention of more than doubling current electricity capacity on the continent to at least 300GW by 2030, using renewable energy sources.

The Initiative is endorsed by the Africa Union and the African Heads of State and Government on Climate Change, and received the support of G7 leaders and G20 energy ministers. AREI is currently in its establishment phase, intending to roll out 10GW between 2016 and 2020 in its second phase, and expand into more ambitious roll out from 2020 to 2030.

Fracking exploration in KwaZulu-Natal

Tony Carnie reports that Texan based company, Rhino Oil and Gas Exploration, is holding more public meetings this year to outline their gas exploration on about 10,000 farms in KwaZulu-Natal in an area covering Pietermaritzburg, Mooi River, Colenso, Kranskop, Ladysmith, Dundee and Camperdown. A first set of public meetings was held in mid-2015 in the Midlands, exposing heaving protest against the explorations.