On Friday, Greenpeace Africa volunteers in Johannesburg and Durban participated in activities as part of the global #EndFossilFuels day of mobilisation. Over 650 similar events are taking place in more than 60 countries worldwide.
World leaders are gathering for the UN General Assembly and the UN Secretary General is convening a “no-nonsense” Climate Ambition Summit in New York on Wednesday.
Following the Africa Climate Summit in Nairobi at the start of the month, Greenpeace Africa marched in eight cities in Cameroon, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Kenya, and South Africa.
In Durban, Greenpeace Africa activists will perform a beach clean-up at Blue Lagoon beach, collecting plastic waste – a byproduct of the oil and gas industry – and conducting a brand audit.
“We are joining thousands of voices globally to call for an end to the abusive fossil fuel industry,” said Desiree Laverne, Greenpeace Africa Volunteer.
“South Africa’s addiction to fossil fuels is detrimental to all life on the planet. We need governments to fast-track a just transition to renewable energy,” ended Laverne.
In Johannesburg, Greenpeace Africa activists met at Emmarentia Dam and created a human banner with the words, “End Fossil Fuels” while engaging with passersby on the impacts of the fossil fuel industry.
“Fossil fuels are not the answer to today’s crises – they are a driver of our polycrisis,” said Hulunn Choo, Greenpeace Africa Volunteer Coordinator.
“The links between the plastic industry, the fossil fuel industry, and climate breakdown are well-known, and we have an abundance of alternatives that won’t kill the planet. We won’t stop until every individual has access to clean energy,” ended Choo.
This year brought extreme heat waves, wildfires and toxic air pollution to every continent. This changing climate produces real-life emergencies. South Africa’s east coast has been ravaged by severe flooding while oil giants like Shell have made attempts to destroy pristine biodiverse areas such as the Wild Coast. Greece had just had three feet of rain over four days, destroying much of its agricultural crops. Libya just suffered a disaster on a biblical scale, with fears that 20 000 have died. This is why Greenpeace called on its supporters to join a global mobilisation to end the fossil fuel era.
Key demands of the global mobilisation include:
- No new fossil fuels: No new projects, finance – public or private- subsidies and no new approvals, licences, permits, or extensions. Provision of sufficient, consensual, predictable, public and grant-based climate funding raised through just taxation reform and other innovative public measures to realise this commitment everywhere. Debt cancellation across all creditors so countries have the resources to transition and are no longer forced to exploit fossil fuels to generate revenue to repay debt.
- A rapid, just and equitable phase-out of existing infrastructure in line with the 1.5C temperature limit and a global plan to ensure that each country is accountable for their role.
- New commitments for international cooperation: Drastically scale up financial and technology transfers to ensure renewable energy access, economic diversification plans, and Just Transition processes so that every country and community can phase out fossil fuels. In light of the climate debt and reparations owed to communities and countries experiencing the worst impacts of the climate crisis, financial and technology transfers must be understood as reparations, not aid.
- Stop greenwashing: Stop claiming that offsets, carbon capture and storage, nature based solutions or geoengineering are solutions to the climate crisis.
- Hold polluters accountable for the damage they’ve caused: Make sure it’s coal, oil, and gas corporations that pay reparations for climate loss and damage and for local rehabilitation, remediation and transition through global corporate tax justice and accountability mechanisms.
- End fossil fuel corporate capture: NO to corporations writing the rules of climate action, bankrolling or participating in climate talks, or undermining the global response to climate change.