Environment

SACSIS is concerned about the impact of climate change and environmental degradation on the lives of the poor. The poor carry a disproportionate burden as result of environmental injustice. SACSIS supports the ethical, balanced and responsible use of land and renewable resources.

South Africa's Weak Green Governance and Virtually Non-existent Green Politics

Picture: Peter Blanchard/flickr Glenn Ashton - Both the ruling African National Congress (ANC) party and the South African flag have prominent splashes of green featuring in their respective colour scheme. After 1994 the new government was keenly focussed on demonstrating its green credentials in line with our constitutional commitment to environmental protection and sustainable use of our diverse natural resources. Twenty years into democratic experiment we need to reassess how green our political commitment remains. Liberation...

Groups Opposed to Fracking in the Karoo Must Forge Stronger Links

Picture: Climate Access Saliem Fakir - As the government presses ahead with fracking, it is not entirely certain whether all South Africans will reap the rich rewards proponents are punting. There is still some way to go. While exploration rights are being processed there is a legislative mountain that must still be climbed. The legislative terrain ranges from the passing of revisions to the Mining Act to the finalisation of water and drilling regulations as well as government’s desire to establish a Strategic...

In Seattle, Throwing Away Food May Cost You

Picture: Nature Melissa Kravitz - If you had to pay for every food scrap in your garbage bag, would you really scrape those last bits of spaghetti into the trash? In Seattle U.S. a new law makes eaters question how they deal with food waste. As of January 2015, home owners and apartment tenants who throw away food will be fined. The policy works like this: after receiving two warnings for having food waste in their trash, a $1 fine will be imposed on homes and $50 on businesses with dumpsters. But how do collectors...

Women Stand Their Ground against Big Coal

Picture: The Political Carnival Samantha Hargreaves and Hibist Kassa - Battles between coal mining companies, the municipalities that host them and affected local residents are now drawing blood with last week’s rubber-bullet shootings and arrests of activists (including key women organisers) fighting coal and demanding a decent life in Emahlahleni (formerly Witbank). This battleground stretches east across the continent’s main coal seam, out to Mozambique’s Tete Province. There, Mama Life (we use a pseudonym to protect her from reprisal), a...

Sacrificing Poverty Alleviation for Climate Financing?

Picture: Benjamin Stephan/flickr Alexander O'Riordan - Green energy could be something of a magic bullet for social and economic justice because it will inevitably erode elites’ grubby hold on energy resources such as coal, oil and gas in much of Africa. Small scale and affordable green energy solutions democratise access to energy because instead of having to broker a deal with an often vested elite, families and small businesses can buy and install their own ‘off the shelf’ solutions without permission needed from anyone....

South Africa's Energy Crisis: Renewables for the Rich?

Picture: PV Magazine Saliem Fakir - Citizens should brace themselves for a long journey of troubled co-existence with Eskom’s woes. Citizens with higher incomes are likely to become less dependent on Eskom because they can supply their energy needs through alternative power sources like renewables, solar-water heaters, gas and home-diesel generators. But poorer households that cannot afford alternatives will either have to absorb higher electricity costs or live with reduced quality of life. There are several...