Shine a light this Earth Hour | WWF South Africa

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Shine a light this Earth Hour

Sign our Earth Hour petition to keep our lights on in a way that is good for both people and the planet.

WWF South Africa is turning this year’s Earth Hour celebration upside down by urging its supporters to “shine a light” on the issue of the day – how to keep our lights on in a way that is good for both people and the planet.

WWF-SA’s CEO Dr Morné du Plessis explains: “Traditionally during Earth Hour, people from around the world take part in a symbolic switch-off for an hour. But in South Africa, where Eskom is switching off the lights on our behalf, we feel it would be more appropriate to use this symbolic moment to shine a light on our national energy crisis and highlight the link between the global climate crisis and our addiction to coal.”

Climate science tells us that the rate of warming in southern Africa is likely to be twice that of the world average. This suggests that for every 1°C increase in global temperature, our country will warm by 2°C, making us extremely vulnerable to climate change. Already these effects have been seen in parts of our country, such as the Northern and Eastern Cape, which have been gripped by devastating droughts.

Nevertheless, South Africa’s Integrated Resource Plan (IRP) 2019 still has new investment in coal in the plan. As it stands, coal is more expensive than renewable energy, pollutes our air, degrades our soil, threatens our long-term water security and fuels climate change.

WWF is urging government to put an immediate end to investment in new fossil fuels and to fully embrace the shift towards renewable energy, with clear and deliverable timelines.

Not only will this put South Africa on the path towards a load-shedding free future; it will also be a way of meeting our global commitment to the Paris Agreement on climate change and limit some of the worst climate impacts. The only way we can do this is if we are powered by renewables.

Says Du Plessis: “It’s time our leaders took brave and decisive action by removing any obstacles towards making a fundamental shift towards cleaner energy. We must also ensure that these changes take place in the context of a just transition which means we need to find the resources to protect vulnerable workers and communities during this time of change. Ultimately, a shift to renewable energy would be a win for nature, people and our economy. The government has been making promises; what we need now is action.”

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Renewable energy will help us to keep our lights on and make the shift away from fossil fuels.

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