Now that the hype of the elections is over, and our new cabinet for the next 5 years has been chosen, we will quickly see which election promises will be realised.
As our organization’s name – Project 90 by 2030 – states, we look towards the year 2030 when we hope that South Africans have made a significant change in their lives towards reducing our carbon footprint.
Some things are easy for us to tackle individually, such as turning off our appliances or using less water. Others need government assistance, such as changing over our electricity generation from coal to renewable energy.
There are a number of important issues we feel that the government needs to focus on over the next five years, with the aim of creating a country that sustains humanity, where people are valued and earth systems are preserved.
There are only three more national elections remaining between now and 2030. We believe a government that thinks and speaks long term, particularly in terms of sustainability, is a government worth voting for.
We have therefore written an open letter to the new Minister of Energy Tina Joemat-Peterssen and the new Minister of Environmental Affairs Edna Molewa with our wish list for what they should achieve and work towards during their term of office.
Dear Ministers Joemat-Peterssen and Molewa,
Open letter from Project 90 by 2030
Project 90 by 2030’s vision is a world that sustains humanity, where people are valued and earth systems are preserved. As our name states: we look towards the year 2030 when we hope that South Africans have made a significant change in their lives towards reducing our carbon footprint.
It is the responsibility of all sectors of society to change the way they live in order to protect our environment – individuals, organisations, businesses and Government. If we all act together we can create a clean, safe and healthy environment for future generations.
Your two respective ministries are very important to our future, and as such we offer our assistance and partnership to you.
We respectfully submit the following wish list of targets and outcomes which we think should be achieved in the next five years, and we stand ready to assist you in making them a reality:
- a strong energy efficiency programme
- a vision where renewable energy is at the core of the future Southern African energy system
- acceleration of creating a supporting legal framework for distributed energy generation (allowing households and communities to have renewable energy and feed their electricity back into the grid)
- 100% affordable energy access for all
- ban new nuclear and future coal (no coal beyond Medupi and Kusile coal power stations which are currently being built)
- all coal-fired power stations fulfil the requirements without exemption as asked for in the Air Quality Regulations
- no fracking in South Africa
- natural gas only in high-efficient co-generation (Combined Heat and Power, or CHP)
- support public electric transport
- stronger focus on green skills development and job creation
- include externalities in energy modelling as input parameters. For instance, include the health costs of coal in your energy modelling scenarios
- take climate change seriously. As you know, current South Africa’s (and global) climate change commitments will not ensure that we stay within the boundaries of 2°C global warming. We therefore urge you to implement the more ambitious strategies to achieve the Peak Plateau and Decline Trajectory (PPD) – or even go beyond so South Africa makes a serious contribution to keeping within the boundaries of 2°C global warming
- provide Liquefied Petroleum Gas (LPG) for cooking and heating which is coupled with the acceleration of gas infrastructure development. This would mean gas pipes leading directly into houses for cooking and heating
- The roll out of rooftop solar PV for indigent households as a package for free basic electricity/energy delivery, this should be accompanied by wonderbags to decrease electricity use and increase efficiency in households
- the strengthening of the National Energy Regulator of South Africa (NERSA)’s role in the energy sector, the speedy mandating of the regulator to a Chapter 9 institution with subsequent functions as regulator of the nuclear industry. Currently the nuclear industry’s regulator is separate from the National Energy Regulator. We would like to see this changed
- the subsequent inclusion of Integrated Development Plans (local government plans) in National energy planning processes. This would better reflect what energy is needed (for households and businesses) and where on a local level
We have every confidence that you will lead our country towards a sustainable future.
Project 90 by 2030
Image courtesy of IOL http://www.iol.co.za/news/politics/anc-hails-balanced-cabinet-1.1693596#.U4MB_Cjy2Lo