OPEN LETTER TO THE MEMBERS OF THE 6TH KWAZULU NATAL PROVINCIAL LEGISLATURE CALLING FOR LEGISLATION AND INTERVENTIONS TO ACT ON THE CLIMATE EMERGENCY
20 September 2019
Climate change has become an urgent crisis and we, members of the South African civil society, call on the KwaZulu-Natal Provincial Legislature to take action to bring it to a halt. This is a prerequisite to protect the vulnerable, future generations, and our environment from tremendous suffering. It is essential to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), which our country committed to in 2015, and our own developmental goals.
We have entered a period of accelerated climate change, where the adverse climate impacts lead to unprecedented loss of livelihoods and economic stability. Many people, especially the poor and vulnerable, are confronted with the dire consequences.
The droughts, increased average temperatures and various other climate impacts that we are witnessing now and were already aware of years ago, make clear that climate change is here and is real. Continued climate inaction condemns young people and future generations to a world ravaged by climate devastation. We call for climate justice and integrated legislation on climate change response.
Now is the time to raise our ambition and actually deliver on the transition to renewable energies, the phasing-out of fossil fuels extraction and combustion, and the safeguarding of our environment to the benefit of the people of KwaZulu-Natal. We believe that legislation that sets a timeline for shifting to a low-carbon and just society, and further protects the people and the planet the devastating effects of global warming, is a prerequisite to create a resilience society and achieve sustainable development.
That is what the people of KwaZulu-Natal and South Africa need, and that is what the youth demands today on this Global Climate Strike.
We therefore request that the KwaZulu-Natal Provincial Legislature scrutinises progress made on:
1) the implementation of the KwaZulu-Natal Provincial Climate Change Response Strategy 2016-2020;
and of Outcome 10 of the KwaZulu-Natal Integrated Development Plan 2018/2019-, which aligns with the National Development Plan 2030’s vision that “by 2030,KZN’s transition to an environmentally sustainable, climate change resilient, low-carbon economy and just society will be well under way”;
2) mainstreaming of climate change mitigation and adaptation in all strategic and annual performance plans of the KwaZulu-Natal Provincial Government, and ensuring that all economic and infrastructure developments in the Province are consistent with the commitment to reducing greenhouse gas emissions.
We also call on the KwaZulu-Natal Provincial Legislature to support the legislative effort towards the urgent adoption of ambitious and clear climate change legislation in South Africa. This legislation will provide a much-needed framework for accelerating adequate climate action in the province, and
Lastly, we suggest that the KwaZulu-Natal Provincial Legislature tables a Speaker’s Debate on Climate Change, and declares a climate emergency.
Honourable Members, we hope you will heed our call for climate justice and swift and ambitious response to the climate crisis. We are available to meet and further deliberate on our concerns.
The South Durban Community Environmental Alliance (SDCEA)
Tel: 031 461 1991
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