4 Dec 2014
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At a recent seminar, Brian Ashley, director of the Alternative Information and Development Centre (AIDC), said that we are facing the mother of all crises in climate change. Importantly, if we are to keep global warming below two degrees celsius, 70% of fossil fuels must stay below the earth's surface. This makes the transition to a low carbon economy vital for South Africa.
But how do you convince thousands of jobless South Africans with a low carbon footprint, as a consequence of their poverty, that climate change is not just something for middle class environmentalists to be concerned about? Ashley explains how climate change presents a massive job creation opportunity. There are thousands more jobs per kilowatt hour in the renewable energy sector than there are in the fossil fuel sector. This is the game changing fact that groups in civl society and the trade union movement are using to mobilise their members around a low carbon agenda under the banner of the "One Million Climate Jobs" campaign.
Ashley made these remarks at a panel discussion co-hosted by the South African Civil Society Information Service (SACSIS) and Norwegian People's Aid, which took place on 22 November 2014 at Wits University as part of the Civicus International Civil Society Week series of seminars.