Video: #ThumaMinaDBSA Petition Delivery Action

On Tuesday 30 April 2019, along with Earthlife Africa and #ThumaMinaDBSA petition supporters hand-delivered over 8000 names which support the call for the Development Bank of Southern Africa (DBSA) to publically commit to not finance the Thabametsi coal-fired power plant.

The names were handed over to Paul Currie, Chief Investment Officer at the DBSA who sincerely conveyed how the bank assesses infrastructure financing applications. We reiterated that the banks screening policies are too lenient on prospective coal financing and that the DBSA has a duty to ensure that projects the bank finances are in the wider public interest and that they are not funding harmful and risky projects like coal-fired power stations which speed up climate change.  

This delivery does not mark the end of the campaign. It is a tipping point as we ramp up efforts to constructively engage the DBSA on initiating climate-friendly policies that reflect a progressive energy transition that both tackles climate change and delivers upon a prosperous low carbon economy in South Africa. calls on the DBSA to develop a stand-alone fossil fuel strategy that fully excludes coal and integrates climate change strategies across their operations to meeting South Africa’s fair share of keeping warming to 1.5C as communicated by the worlds foremost collection of climate scientists.

While the DBSA through the Green Climate Fund  (GCF) facility appears to be taking comprehensive action on climate change and the transition to a low carbon economy, the bank is not moving fast enough to contribute to South Africa's Nationally Determined Contribution (NDC) to keeping warming well below 2C - an NDC which is itself far short of South Africa's fair share of keeping warming to well below 2C never mind 1.5C. To date, the bank's approach to climate change has not been ambitious or clear enough to avoid catastrophic climate impacts. challenges DBSA to play a stronger role in ensuring that South Africa is doing its fair share in a global effort to slash carbon emissions to net zero by 2050 and ensure that South Africa is not left behind as the country’s peers move forward towards a fossil free future.

#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.