groundWork (Friends of the Earth, South Africa)
South Durban Community Environmental Alliance

SA DROUGHT UNDER THE CLIMATE CHANGE SPOTLIGHT- Friends of the Earth International Climate Justice and Energy group speaks out

Durban, South Africa, 14 March 2016 – As the world’s leaders once again side-stepped commitments on emission reductions at the annual climate negotiations in Paris 2015, South Africa continues to be in the midst of its worst drought in the last two decades. The continent is set to burn, as Africa’s temperature will soar an extra 2 degrees above the global average temperature increase if nothing is done to curb climate change.

This week, key members of Friends of the Earth International [1], the largest network of grassroots organisations in the world, will meet in Durban, South Africa. Meeting with local organisations, groundWork (Friends of the Earth, South Africa) [2] and the South Durban Community Environmental Alliance [3], the Friends of the Earth group will strategise on how to tackle the global threat to climate and energy justice.

According to Chair of Friends of the Earth International, Jagoda Munic:

“The Paris agreement was a diplomatic success but it will not stop the climate catastrophe; it is neither ambitious nor just… After more than twenty years of climate negotiations, developed countries demonstrated once again that they can talk the climate justice talk, but not walk the walk… All around the world we see communities and individuals building the energy revolution that we need. Our current energy system is unsustainable and fails to meet even the most basic needs of millions. Community-owned energy and local, sustainable food and farming gives us an opportunity to provide a dignified life for all [4].”

Of particular importance, is Friends of the Earth International’s mission of solidarity with local struggles while global members of the group are in Durban. Critically, these are around water-intensive fossil fuel based energy developments in the KwaZulu Natal Province and the expansion of the Durban port which will see thousands displaced and an increase in climate change inducing emissions.

Key spokespeople at this meeting are [5]:

Press are invited to a meet and greet on Wednesday, 16 March 2016 at 12h30 at WESSA Treasure Beach Educational Centre (835 Marine Drive, Durban).

FOOTNOTES

[1] Friends of the Earth International is the world’s largest grassroots environmental network, uniting 75 national member groups and some 5,000 local activist groups on every continent. With over 2 million members and supporters around the world, FoEI campaigns on today’s most urgent environmental and social issues. FoEI challenges the current model of economic and corporate globalization, and promotes solutions that will help to create environmentally sustainable and socially just societies www.foei.org 
[2] groundWork is an environmental justice organisation working with community people from around South Africa, and increasingly Southern Africa, on environmental justice and human rights issues focusing on Coal, Climate and Energy Justice, Waste and Environmental Health. groundWork is the South African member of Friends of the Earth International.
[3] The South Durban Community Environmental Alliance (SDCEA) is a non-profit organisation which aims to, inter alia, service the common interests of participating civil society organisations, provide a common structure through which different sectors of civil society can explore, strengthen and promote matters of common interest justice or relating to environmental justice and sustainable development and create a culture of environmental justice and sustainability www.sdcea.co.za
[4] Read the full opinion piece by Jagoda Munic, Chair of Friends of the Earth International, here.
[5] Click here to download a list of the key spokespeople press are invited to meet and interview.

CONTACTS

Megan Lewis
Media and Communications Officer, groundWork
Tel (m): +27 83 450 5541
Tel (w): +27 33 342 5662
Email: megan@groundwork.org.za