Media Advisory: Into the Climate Fire – groundWork launches its 2023 report

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Into the Climate Fire – groundWork launches its 2023 report

groundWork, Friends of the Earth South Africa is excited to announce the launch of the 2023 edition of its annual research report entitled Into the Climate Fire: Harsh realities and fossil fantasies in South Africa’s conflicted transition.

2023 was the hottest year ever by a very long shot and the bets are on that 2024 will be hotter still. Extreme heat is driving monstrous wildfires while floods have swept thousands to their death. Record ocean temperatures are changing the circulation of ocean currents, driving massive changes in the earth system. Big Oil cares not. Flush with record profits, it is ‘rewarding’ investors and offering false solutions as the ‘carbon budget’ runs out. The richest 1%, including those investors, are burning through more than the poorest half of humanity, while the Petro-CoPs clear the way for climate fraud.

The heat in South Africa’s conflicted transition is also rising. The 2023 groundWork Report is the fourth in a series on the just (or unjust) transition. It connects the intersections and lays bare the collisions we face in the near future. It documents the fantasies of petrostate riches, and ‘clean coal’ pitted against the project for a ‘purposive transition’. It reviews the milestones of the transition in 2023, including the Jet Implementation Plan, the Climate Bill and the South African Renewable Energy Masterplan. It analyses the intervention of the Presidential Climate Commission in the decommissioning process unfolding at the Komati power station.

On the ground, community researchers monitor the state of the transition and analyse the uneven failing of the state. In this context, the report looks forward to a bottom-up drive for a people’s just transition towards food and energy sovereignty, and open democracy.

The launch will take place at the Observatory Golf Club, Johannesburg, on Wednesday 13 March from 9h00 to 14h00. It will take the form of a public dialogue with the authors, community researchers and activists from directly affected communities across the country. RSVP by email to is essential as limited spaces are available.

For media practitioners attending, there will be opportunities to interview actors and activists from fence line communities. The launch dialogue will also be live streamed on groundWork’s YouTube platform for those unable to attend in person.


Media Contact: Tsepang Molefe +27 74 405 1257;