Cape Town Society’s Global Climate Day Solidarity Message

Cape Town Civil Society Global Climate Day

21 September 2014

Solidarity Message

 We as individuals, children, parents and grandchildren, representatives of organizations, caring citizens of Cape Town hereby declare our support for the 100% clean energy message being taken to the UN emergency climate summit on the 23rd September 2014 by Avaaz, and many others.

Unfortunately, Cape Town, like many large cities around the world, also has a large carbon footprint that contributes to the climbing levels of CO2 in the atmosphere, now standing at more than 400 parts per million and already 15% beyond minimum safe levels.

We have much to lose. With more than 300 Km of coastline, unique global biodiversity, many poor and vulnerable people, significant in-migration, already strained infrastructure in many areas, high dependency on food, water and fuel from outside the City, even small climatic changes could have disastrous effects on us.

The City of Cape Town is conscious of the situation and has many positive-sounding policy statements but it needs to do more. One area where more is possible is the position on Small Scale Embedded Generation (SSEG). Currently the tariff structure is such that there is no real incentive for people to switch from dirty coal to clean solar energy. At the same time new developments are not required to be energy efficient or waste minimising and often encroach into natural areas.

True sustainability and acknowledgement of the limits to consumptive growth are still missing.

To show we care about what happens to all people, the earth and future generations we therefore call on local and provincial leaders and decision makers not to waste more time lending an ear to a non-existent debate. The science is clear. This rapidly accelerating period of climate change is caused by over-use of fossil fuels. The consequences threaten the mother City as much as they do life on earth. Wait-and-see attitudes and damage-to-the economy argument are irresponsible and short sighted. 

The Western Cape and South Africa have abundant renewable energy resources that can be equitably used by and be of benefit to all. What is needed is the will to make it happen. We must have 100% clean energy by 2050.


Several organizations and many individuals are meeting at the Oranjezicht City Farm this Sunday 21st September from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. to hold a solidarity programme supporting the thousands of people predicted to be filling the NY streets next week. You are welcome to attend this.

Directions to Oranjezicht City Farm


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