Youth 4 Climate Action March
Memorandum presented to the Department of Energy
By the Youth of Durban together with
Oceans Not Oil, Earthlife Africa Durban, South African Youth Climate Change Coalition, South Durban Community Environment Alliance, WildoceansSA, FrackFreeSA, People’s Climate Durban, 350.org, Youth for MPA’s and Extinction Rebellion South Africa
15 March 2019
The issue of climate change has become an urgent crisis and we the youth are demanding action from the Department of Mineral Resources. We are marching along with thousands of other young people across the globe, united by the fact that we all share the same future. We are here to tell you, the Department of Energy, to “WAKE UP”. After 20 years of talk about climate change, this Energy Department still is not effectively tackling climate change and the consequences will be irreversible. We call on the Department of Energy to meet the ambitions of a decarbonized future and to immediately align with the science of climate change. We have listed our demands, which you should heed as we will inherit what you put into place today. We, the youth, will be around longer than you “adults” and so we will suffer the worst from your inaction.
We demand clean energy!
We demand an end to the building of all new coal-fired power stations
We demand the closing down of aging, pollution emitting power stations.
We demand no more new investment in coal mining, oil and gas development and fracking.
We demand strict policies and regulations against the private and industry sector’s environmental emissions. We demand practical transformation as a result of their implementation.
We need to reinforce the use of alternative energy sources because coal and gas are not the future. Our atmosphere and biosphere have had enough therefore, we can’t carry on like it is business as usual.
We demand a switch to clean, safe, carbon-free renewable energy to stop climate change.
We demand that all Energy Department projects line up with the latest science and that the Energy Department commitments to solving the crisis are urgent with deep cuts in emissions
People are dying. We have seen with our own eyes the devastating impacts of climate change with droughts, floods, wildfires, water shortages and crop failures leading to famine, especially in less resilient communities. This goes against human rights and Intergenerational equity. We are the young, we are human and we are the future.
South Africa gives lip-service to peaking by 2025, but continues to invest in coal, gas and oil. That is going to make the world a dangerous place for us to live in. South Africa has twice the global greenhouse gas emissions per person. We are accumulating climate debt. If all the governments had similar targets, global temperatures would reach 3-5° C by 2100. Maybe you won’t be around then but we will! Our future is in your hands – don’t steal it from us.
We demand dialogue!
The reality is that Africa is made up largely of a youthful population, yet the will and presence of that fact is not represented in most decision making structures of government. Youth are able to bring innovation, energy and, more recently, academic support to these decision making structures. This is why we demand to have a bilateral avenue of communication opened with the Department of Energy and affiliated government representatives in the near future in order to deliberate and hopefully realize our demands.