Category Archives: climate change

Join us on the 27 May

For the last two weeks,  climate change negotiators from around the world and other stakeholders from national governments and civil society gathered in Bonn for the intersessional climate change meeting.

Every year, all countries represented at the United Nations, come together at the UNFCCC headquarters for the intersessional meeting, which bridges the time gap between the annual international climate change negotiations (known as the Conference of the Parties or COP) that take place in November/December each year. The aim of this year’s intersessional meeting in Bonn is to solidify the gains made last year in Paris at COP21, and to turn them into actions that could keep post-industrial global warming to below 2 degrees Celsius.

One of the many commitments made during the COP21 climate change negotiations in Paris, was for all participating countries to enhance education, training, public participation and awareness around climate change, and to guarantee access to information in their respective countries. This commitment, known as the “Action for Climate Empowerment” builds on Article 6 of the UN Climate Change Convention and is a fundamental part of the Paris Agreement signed on 22nd April this year.

The successful integration of Article 6 into national strategies and activities is critical for transparent and decisive climate action in each country and ensures participation and capacity development of different stakeholders.

One way of informing and involving citizens in the climate debate is to through multi-stakeholder workshops at national, regional or local levels that involve policy-makers from relevant ministries, private sector as well as civil society representatives. In South Africa, the consultation workshops on the Intended Nationally Determined Contributions (INDCs) organised by the provinces and the national Department of Environmental Affairs in 2015 were good examples of stakeholder discussions in the climate change debate.

Project 90 by 2030 is working towards transparent climate action in South Africa. Together with the Catholic Parliamentary Liaison Office (CPLO), we are making concerted efforts towards climate change empowerment of South Africans. We will jointly be hosting two roundtable discussions on the “Domestication of the Paris Agreement”. Representatives from provincial and local government, private sector and civil society will be meeting in Cape Town on the 27th May, and in Johannesburg on the 19th July 2016.

If you are interested in joining us at our roundtable discussion on the 27th May in Cape Town, please email Neoka – neoka@90by2030.org.za We look forward to your input.

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Realising Africa’s true potential

Renewable energy is one of the most tangible ways of making a fundamental shift from our current climate trajectory. Weening off from fossil fuels for energy will decrease our dependence on these limited and climate altering resources and allow us to move towards creating a low-carbon generation. The African Renewable Energy Initiative (AREI) was created with the intention of kick starting this process on continental scale.

The AREI was initiated at the end of 2014 and officially launched during COP21, (Twenty-first Session of the Conference of the Parties) in Paris, at the end of 2015 by the African Group of Negotiators (AGN). The initiative aims to implement 10 GW of renewable energy by 2020 and 300 GW of renewable energy by 2030 on the African continent. The initiative proposes the use of smart grid systems that utilise a mix of restored current grid systems and decentralised energy of various forms of energy production coupled with energy efficiency.

The first meeting of African civil society representatives to discuss the AREI was held in February 2016 in Berlin, Germany. At the meeting a unanimous decision was made to host a second and more representative meeting (with more African civil society delegates) ahead of the African Ministerial Conference of Environment (AMCEN) in Cairo, Egypt, which took place in mid-April.

At the conference, a joint statement compiled by African civil society was presented to the AMCEN secretariat to then share with the Ministers of the AMCEN member states. The statement detailed how we – as African civil society – see the AREI become operationalised, with specific elements which were highlighted as non-negotiables.

Our main message was to highlight the importance of the foundation of the AREI and its ambitions/intentions, and the sustainable provision and access to energy across the continent, which are the cornerstones to the initiative’s success.

Attempting to plan and implement a plan of action on a continental scale is by no means an easy feat, with many intricacies to be ironed-out, negotiated and in some cases re-negotiated. There is also the consideration of the fact that certain African states such as Morocco, Kenya, Egypt and South Africa currently possess more advanced infrastructure. By concentrating the AREI’s developments in those states would allow the initiative to reach its 2020 goal of implementing 10GW of renewable energy with relative ease, but potentially at the expense of the ultimate 300 GW goal by 2030 given the lack of investment towards the other less developed states.

Further questions have surfaced around the AREI – including around the allocation of the pledged funds of the initiative as well as the institutional structure, operations and responsibilities of the initiative.

The Titanic was deemed ‘too big to fail’ and in the instance of the AREI – the story of the Titanic should serve as a cautionary tale. From every perspective, the AREI is ambitious. In order for the initiative to succeed – it is imperative that frequent critical analyses take place, by both government and civil society, to ensure that the AREI’s implementation does not fall back into the practiced, business as usual approach.

The AREI can realise its true potential, but only if a realistic implementation and accountability plan is put into action.

Written by Neoka Naidoo – Project 90 by 2030’s Policy Communicator

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Norway in a nutshell

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Our Community Engagement Facilitator, Gray Maguire was invited to present at the International Sustainable Development Research Summit in Norway. He did a presentation on Project 90’s Participatory Community Engagement methodology which we have developed to document our work with communities over the past few years. Although some of the messages at the conference were somewhat pessimistic, Gray remains optimistic about the changes society can bring to create a just and sustainable world for all.

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Reflecting on the Western roots of the climate change crisis

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Eight Project 90 staff and volunteers were invited to attend the Climate Reality Leadership Training in Johannesburg last month. Al Gore and his team are travelling the world to teach and share experiences of climate change to create climate leaders across the globe. Blessing Mutiti, a Project 90 volunteer, reflects on the training and whether the responsbility for solving climate change should sit with the industrialised Western countries who caused it. Continue reading

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Power Up! A Just Energy Transition in the South

In October 2013, Project 90 by 2030 hosted an international conference outside Cape Town for NGOs from Brazil, India and South Africa to initiate South-South collaboration regarding Renewable Energy policy.

Ten delegates working for civil society organizations from each country got together to elaborate and visualise on what a Just Energy transition can look like, particularly in a context of climate change and predicted environmental degradation. Their focus was on strategizing for better policies and implementation of renewable energy.

In this video you will see what some of the issues around energy for the global south are and what we would like to see for the future. Continue reading

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Make it cool to care for the world we live in

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There has been a lot in the news lately around climate change due to the climate negotiations happening in Poland. Here is a piece written by Nicole Demmel, one of our volunteers at Project 90 which was published in the Argus. Well done Nicole! Continue reading

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Activist carries environmental flag

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This article on our young climate leader Happy Khambule was released in the Constaniaberg Bulletin Newspaper. Continue reading