21 June 2019

South Africa: SONA - Ramaphosa Stops Short of Declaring Climate Crisis

analysis

In his third State of the Nation Address, President Cyril Ramaphosa waxed poetic about the climate crisis and the impact global heating has on the lives of everyday South Africans. But he did not declare a climate emergency, nor did he provide tangible ways in which South Africa will decrease its carbon footprint.

"Together with all the nations of the world, we are confronted by the most devastating changes in global climate in human history."

So said President Cyril Ramaphosa during his third State of the Nation Address (SONA), before warning of the impact a heating atmosphere will have on the lives and livelihood of South Africans.

The president said that unless we act now to change the course of global heating, our lives will be threatened. Yet he did not offer a decisive action plan to slow the climate crisis.

In a statement issued by Greenpeace Africa shortly after the SONA, the organisation called out Ramaphosa for a lack of decisive action.

"SONA was a missed opportunity; the President downplayed solutions to the climate crisis and stopped short of declaring a climate emergency, or indeed, any meaningful action aimed at avoiding catastrophic climate change."

Instead, Ramaphosa emphasised that South...

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