Dear Climate Leaders and Friends of the African Climate Reality Project,

2016 has been a busy and eventful year for the African Climate Reality Project

Our new Coordinator Noelle and I hit the ground running when we joined half-way through the year and we’ve come through a year that was filled with both challenges and successes.

Success for members of the Climate Vulnerable Forum – of which 16 African countries – who have committed to aim for 100% green energy by 2050 and will be pioneers for the rest of the continent; and challenges for us as adaptation is still not recognised by the global North to be equally important as mitigation. In South Africa, we are further challenged by the lack of political will to shift the country’s development trajectory.

Members of the African Climate Reality Project have held a series of important meetings to reaffirm the need to make an all-out, African-wide effort to change the way we do things in Africa to secure social, environmental and generational justice for all African citizens. Our main goal as the African Climate Reality Project is to secure a decarbonised development pathway for Africa i.e. allowing us to develop without depending on fossil fuels and the consequential damage to people and the environment. In order to achieve this, we realise there are five key areas we need to address (which vary, depending on which country we work in):

  • Decarbonised power generation
  • A massive roll-out of decentralized, renewable energy
  • Improved efficiency and waste reduction – particularly in the areas of improved public transport; agriculture to be carbon neutral by 2030; improved business process that reduce waste and use energy more efficiently; building efficiency
  • Improved carbon sink management, which includes reforestation and better management of grasslands in Africa
  • Climate justice during the decarbonisation shift – social and generational justice, transparency and good governance

The Road Forward

During 2017, our focus will be on advocating for a massive roll-out of renewable energy in Africa and on improving carbon sink management. In South Africa, we will advocate for the implementation of the Carbon Tax and for getting the South African Government to sign off on the 4th round of the renewable energy independent power producers’ procurement programme (REIPPPP).

We will be asking for your support and collaboration on these key topics. Climate Leaders will be invited to join groups whose role will be to provide guidance on each of the five key areas.

The success of African Climate Reality Project is built on the efforts of all of you. Noelle and I have loved meeting and interacting with every single one of you and are simultaneously filled with awe and respect for the work you tirelessly do for the planet. While the challenges are great, we are convinced that you – the African Climate Leaders, our partners and friends throughout civil society, academia and business – will work together to bring about the changes we need to see.

Thank you for your efforts and personal contributions as we work toward our goal of a decarbonised development pathway for Africa, together.

We offer our best wishes and happiness to you and your families as we all look forward to a year of successes in 2017.

Warm wishes,
Gillian Hamilton – Branch Manager