Stronger than Covid-19

Many of us are dealing with uncertainty, fear, loss of livelihoods, and anxiety about the future. Some of us are doing our best to adapt. And many of us are looking for ways to help each other. In these unprecedented and challenging times, caring for one another is the highest priority. 

As the world continues to trap in to help slow the spread of Covid-19, one of the most interesting phenomena taking place is the creative, quirky, and inspiring ways from people across Africa and beyond to cope with the pandemic.

We recently asked a few of our organisers to talk about how they're dealing with being quarantined at home.

There are so many parallels between the climate crisis and the global COVID-19 pandemic. It’s global in scope. Historically marginalized communities are the most impacted. And corporations, including Big Oil, are trying their hardest to push politicians to put profit before people. 

Many of us are longing for lockdowns to end and normal life to return. But we need to remember that “normal” was already a crisis. “Normal” was greed and inequality, poverty, destruction of nature, and climate breakdown. 

Despite the growing uncertainty that produces all kinds of feelings in us and our communities, this is not the time to be discouraged. This is rather an opportunity to respond creatively, to take care of each other, and to demonstrate solidarity with the most vulnerable and affected ones.

The period of rebuilding and recovery after the Covid-19 crisis opens up choices, and we need to choose to build back a better and more just world. Our covid-19 response must put people and the planet – not corporations and polluting industries – first. It’s time to demonstrate Ubuntu values and that together Africans are stronger than COVID-19. It’s time for a Just Recovery from COVID-19

We would also like to hear from you: tell us what’s going on in your neighbourhood, or community. How are you coping and responding? Your knowledge and experience can help many across the world. Send us a picture and/or a video.

By Landry Ninteretse, Managing Director.

#ThumaMina – call on the DBSA to publicly commit to not financing new coal

350Africa is calling on the Development Bank of Southern Africa (DBSA) to publically commit to not funding Thabametsi coal-fired power station because of the devastating effects this will have in Lephalale, Limpopo, South Africa.

We all know we don't need another coal plant. Besides the immediate impact on the health of people living close to the plant, emissions from coal-fired power plants contribute to climate change. Burning more coal will only lead to more catastrophic climate change, more extreme weather and even more impacts like the drought in the Cape and dangerous storms. Coal is killing us and our planet and it's time we took action to stop it.

South Africa is at the shore of a national water crisis. Corruption within the coal sector threatens the country’s democracy and has been entrenched into the highest levels of governance. Reports on how load shedding was used as a money-making scheme, irregularities within the Water and Sanitation Department and ensuing economic misfortune has reached extreme levels and has South Africans feeling despondent in the midst of a water crisis. In order to avoid the situation becoming any worse, public and private financial institutions need to be persuaded to break ties with the coal sector, which threatens our collective well being.

This is why 350Africa has launched the Thuma Mina(lend a hand) DBSA campaign calling on the DBSA to permanently withdraw from financing Thabametsi. The plant will use outdated technology and as a result will be a coal plant with disproportionate emissions, impacts on human health, water availability, and agricultural productivity in an age when any new coal plant cannot compete economically with renewable energy and is a climate crime. Set to begin operating in 2021 with a lifespan of 45 years, the plant would mean that either South Africa will not be able to meet its climate change obligations, or that the power plant will close early, becoming a stranded asset.  

The Life After Coal campaign has made incredible progress towards stopping Thabametsi. We now call on the DBSA to continue their work supporting renewable energy and commit to not funding this new coal power plant. Their slogan is #MakeChangeHappen, let’s do it sustainably.

You can join the call by visiting the campaign website and signing the petition asking the DBSA to commit to not funding coal.