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  • Credit: © Greenpeace Africa / Mujahid Safodien

  • Credit: © Greenpeace Africa / Mujahid Safodien

  • Credit: © Greenpeace Africa / Mujahid Safodien

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SONA2020: Progress on clean energy, but still talk of dirty coal

14 February 2020 at 8:00 am

The Life After Coal campaign welcomes a number of announcements made by President Cyril Ramaphosa in the State of the Nation Address last night on lifting barriers to new generation of clean, more affordable electricity from renewable energy.

We also welcome the acknowledgement of the existential threat of climate change, and the President’s commitment not to leave behind any African child in the transition to a “low-carbon, climate resilient and sustainable society”.

We welcome the announcement that municipalities in good standing will be allowed to procure electricity from renewable energy. However, we see no commitments to local, social and community-owned renewable energy generation. We call for concrete plans to support such local capacity for “people’s power”– essential for a just transition.

We are dismayed at the President’s reference to any new generation from coal. Here are all the reasons why coal is too expensive, kills people and destroys the environment:

We are also disappointed that no mention was made in the President’s address of the toxic air pollution by the ongoing and flagrant violations of Eskom’s dirty coal plants with air pollution laws, which kills and impairs the health of thousands every year, including children. These are ongoing violations of people’s Constitutional rights which require an urgent response. Read more about the court case brought against government here:

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Contact: Lerato Letebele Balendran lbalendran@cer.org.za or Tsepang Molefe 074 405 1257