A day of action. It’s not a new idea – at 350Africa.org it is something of our bread and butter when it comes to organising. People taking action inspire other people to take action. Right now you can visit the Afrika Vuka website and see people who have signed up from all over the continent to take action on climate change on the 25th of May, 2019. There is probably someone in your region, in your country, maybe even in your city or town who has put up there hand and said: “I will organise!”.
These early organisers are pioneers, who lead to more and more people signing up. Getting people in contact. Building people power. This is why these days are important. The fossil fuel industry is running scared, but unfortunately for us, they are running to Africa. Our continent is seen as one of the last places where people will accept the pollution, corruption is currency and the news that renewable energy is cheaper somehow hasn’t sunk in.
So they have built a coal fired power plant in Bargny, Senegal, they want to build one near the historic town of Lamu, Kenya (a world heritage site!), SOCO intends to explore for crude oil inside Virunga National Park in the Democratic Republic of Congo and in South Africa they are trying desperately to get the two mega coal-fired power plants that have cost billions to work properly. We have to show them that we will not accept dirty, old energy sources. We won’t accept our banks financing fossil fuels that use and pollute our water and dirty our air. We won’t pay more for energy because you’re stuck in the last century.
Climate change is upon us. Weather has been weaponised. Cyclone Idai and the severity of many other weather events in the recent past are a foretaste of the chaos to come. Our leaders are moving too slowly, and it is the poorest people in our society who will suffer the most. In South Africa, where I live, the political parties are gearing up for a national election, and while many pay lip service to climate change, we are incredibly far from the ambitious plans we need. It falls to us, citizens in every sector of our economies and every part of our countries to come together and demonstrate that climate change is the issue of our time, and we demand bold action to shift our future energy path.
We are ready to support you in taking action and to take action ourselves. I hope you’ll join us. Afrika Vuka!
Author: Glen Tyler, 350.org South Africa Team Leader