Tag Archives: Global Warming


Enough. For All. Forever.

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How do you make a house, using sustainable materials, for under a $1000? Can breeding flies reduce overfishing? Why do humans repeatedly make the same mistakes? Well, these were some of the many questions addressed at the inaugural Sustain our Africa Summit which our Financial Coordinator, Richard Halsey attended. Continue reading


Project 90 and civil society at COP17

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In the third part of our COP17 series we look at the role of civil society in the global negotiations and why Project 90 resolved to stay away from Durban last December. Continue reading


What do the COP17 outcomes mean for us?

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In our first blog in this series about COP17 we spoke about the background and the conferences that came before it. Here we discuss what the outcomes mean for us and the planet. What is your opinion of COP17 – a big step forward or a total cop out? Continue reading


Looking for your next fix?

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Instead of looking for technological fixes to solve climate change we should rather take a look at ourselves and what we really need. Dealing with challenges in the same way that caused them to arise in the first place is only ‘wiping the brow to cure the disease’. Our Behaviour Change Researcher, Stephen Davis, takes a look at these issues and asks the question: what really motivates you and is important to you? Continue reading


Antarctic eco-warriors

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Robert Zipplies, a Project 90 board member, was lucky enough to receive an unexpected invitation from legendary explorer and environmentalist Robert Swan to assist on one of his annual expeditions to the Antarctic as sustainability lecturer. Robert gives us a first-hand account of his trip: icebergs, overcoming fear, freezing cold water and facial expressions! (with some amazing photography). Thank you Robert for sharing this inspiring story with us. Continue reading


SA’s weather has started changing

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The SA Weather Service has released data showing that SA’s weather is changing, and warns that we need to adapt fast. We also take a look at the costs and damage caused by the recent floods in SA, Brazil, Australia and Sri Lanka. Continue reading

Your chance to input into SA’s energy future

We are mobilising as many people as possible to support a Renewable Energy Future in South Africa.

Only 81 submissions were received in the previous IRP (Integrated Resource Plan – what’s this?) public participation round – we need to ensure this number is multiplied many times over by December 10th! This is a crucial time for our electricity supply future. With your voice we can ensure that sustainable (economic, social and environmental) choices are made.

If you would like to have your say in our Energy Future, it is not too late! Submissions close by December 10th. Please support our submission to the IRP2 process – link here IRP2010_QuestionnaireTemplate_Project90by2030 BM_RF_MISEREOR

Our proposal covers issues like job creation, renewable energy, health and sustainable use of resources. As the Department of Energy will only fully analyse submissions in their prescribed format, so we suggest three options below.


Fastest (only if you don’t have any time to spare): send an endorsement of Project 90 by 2030’s submission to IRP2  IRP2010_QuestionnaireTemplate_Project90by2030 BM_RF_MISEREOR but do include your (or your organisation’s) full particulars so it is registered properly as a separate submission: IRP2010@mweb.co.za. Please cc: campaigns@90×2030.org.za.

10 mins of your time: read through the summary of main points from our submission that relate to your work (at the bottom of this mail), insert your/your organisation’s particulars at the top of the attached Project90 submission or on your organisation’s letterhead, and submit as it is. Even if the submission looks the same, all the points will have to be counted twice and will have more weight.

10 minutes more: cut out anything you don’t want to include, keep only what you support fully and insert your/your organisation’s details at the top and submit (a blank form  if you wish to IRP2010_QuestionnaireTemplate make your own submission).

Your submission needs to be made by December 10th – this process could have serious implications for money spent on energy in the long term – South Africa cannot afford to spend vast amounts of money on bad energy choices!


1.    Social & Economic Justice 
The IRP includes a criterion of ‘least cost to the consumer’, yet universal access to electricity has not been considered. Tariff structures which make the poor pay most, whilst large industries benefit from subsidised rates need to be reviewed.
The drive to provide cheap electricity to support economic growth is flawed in that it invariably leads to high consumption of energy and energy intensive lifestyles, which in turn leads to escalating greenhouse gas emissions. Energy efficiency should be a primary focus of the IRP. We call on government to use the Human Development Index (HDI) rather than GDP as a guage of economic growth.
Areas where households are currently not connected to the grid and are unlikely to be in the foreseeable future could benefit quite quickly from a distributed electricity system (hybrid island solutions), which are more cost effective. These types of solutions are excluded from the IRP.
The excessive demand forecast underpinning the draft IRP will lead to a costly implementation of unnecessary large scale infrastructure at a time when we still need to address deep levels of poverty and inequality in South Africa. This in turn will create overcapacity and probably end up as stranded investments in years ahead – just as happened in the 1980s and early 1990s. We are in the position to avoid the repeat of such a future waste of limited resources NOW.
An (Renewable energy) RE industry, which supports local manufacturing and engineering has a bigger job creation potential, both on short, mid and long term, including exports within th region and to overseas markets.
The advisory technical committee to the IRP process is loaded with business interests and there is no civil society representation.  All advisory boards and technical committees of government need to represent the diversity of the population; e.g civil society, poor communities, labour, health and gender-focused organisations need to be represented and endowed with the same voice, weight and powers as others on these committees to allow a fair and balanced consideration of the many options available for planning.
Financial risk of nuclear and large-scale, centralised power stations: The risk of significant cost escalation as clearly evidenced by numerous past and current global nuclear and coal power plants (e.g. Medupi) is not addressed in the draft IRP. South Africa can avoid these risky options by investing in incremental proven RE technologies and intensifying research & development for RE and by investing in good Energy efficiency campaigns that drive behaviour change.
2.    Land, Agriculture, Water  
Considering the climate change and temperature increase already evident and affecting water supply in Southern Africa, the IRP criterion of lowest water consumption is greatly under-estimated. 
Not only consumption, but water quality and pollution should be an input criteria for the IRP. The impact on water through all mining industries (acid mine drainage), for example should be considered.
RE technologies, do not require the same dedicated land-use zones as coal and nuclear. Solar and wind technologies can be widely distributed. Wind Turbines can be placed along-side roads or incorporated within grazing land, for example. Solar power plants can be placed on land that is too dry to cultivate, and solar water heating can be installed easily on all the available roof spaces in suburbs and industrial areas. 
By adding on smaller scale RE electricity sources alongside existing grid infrastructure, the supply of electricity can be boosted without the need for the large, additional expense of transmission lines and the increased land-use that this involves. 

3.   Youth
The consideration of impacts of electricity choices made today on future generations is not represented within the draft IRP.
Future generations will have to solve and pay for the problem of safe long-term nuclear waste storage, a problem for which there is currently no solution world-wide.
The IRP should take potential future carbon-taxation into account in its cost estimates.
4.   Education 
The huge government investments in unnecessary power-stations could be better spent on education and health systems. Imagine what might have been done with the billions wasted on the PBMR project. 
5.    Health & Well-being 
RE does not have the impacts on health associated with coal and nuclear.