ELECTRICITY AND THE ENVIRONMENT
How to shift from coal-fired power to renewables without job blackouts
Quick roll-out, consumer levies and retraining of staff are key to ensuring green economy benefits all in SA
How will we care for our coal workers as we transition to sustainability? They are people with families; they matter. And yet, their occupation is slowly expiring. Earlier this month, Eskom indicated that it plans early closure of four coal-fired power plants and that lost production will be made up from renewable sources. Stakeholders and activists are concerned, and rightly so. There was a demonstration in Tshwane by stakeholders involved in coal transportation, and Earthlife Africa recently won the country’s first climate-change litigation in the High Court in Pretoria. The court referred the appeal against the environmental authorisation for a coal-fired power station at Thabametsi in Limpopo back to the Department of Environmental Affairs, finding that its climate-change effects had not been properly considered. Change is in the air, domestically and internationally, and the news is good — if we can manage a compassionate transition that delivers new economic opportunities in t...