How can the government contemplate the commissioning of new coal-powered stations when climate change due to global warming  is the biggest threat yet to society?

I understand the argument that SA is a country of huge discrepancies in personal well-being and that economic growth is necessary at (almost) any cost, but the cost of losing the race to keep the world temperature increase at or below 1.5°C above that of the preindustrial era, is more than any of us — rich or poor — can afford.

According to world-renowned scientists at the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, the vulnerable and poor will be affected most by climate change. We have 15 or fewer years left before a fatal tipping point is reached.

The total irrationality of it is that clean energy is now readily available in SA, and cheaper than new coal. As an added bonus, buying into clean energy provision provides the opportunity to abide by the UN 17 sustainable development goals to transform the world.

The UN General Assembly adopted the goals in 2015 to “leave no one behind”. We bought into this policy in 2016 when Jacob Zuma signed the Paris agreement on climate change.

Caryl Richmond
Via e-mail