South Africa: Cape Town Citizens Take Action Against South Africa's Coal-Fired Air Pollution

(file photo).
6 March 2020
press release

Cape Town 's Eleventh World Naked Bike Ride will take place on Saturday 7 March. It is an annual event in over 74 cities around the world - in the Southern Hemisphere in March and in the Northern Hemisphere in June.

We will ride against the burning of fossil fuels, which is contributing to climate change and ecological disaster - the signs of which are becoming more evident every day.

Species extinction, ecosystem collapse, water scarcity and food insecurity. The devastating impact of our addiction to fossil fuels is undeniable.

Climate change quite simply is the biggest threat that the human species and our planet has ever faced. Our very survival depends on finding ways to stop it.

South Africa is one of the largest greenhouse gas (GHG) emitters in the world, because 90% of our power is still derived from coal - the dirtiest of all the fossil fuels.

South Africa's top polluter Eskom is responsible for nearly 40pc of the country's GHG emissions. While contributing to the climate crisis, it has also c orrupt ed our energy sector, drain ed our taxes and plung ed us into darkness.

Air pollution from its coal -fired power stations causes 2,200 deaths per year and costs our economy $2.3 billion annually. It continues to breach minimum emissions limits - and it has applied for a fifth time to delay meeting pollution standards for 14 of its 15 coal-fired power stations by an April 2020 deadline .

In South Africa, research shows that transitioning to almost 100% renewable energy by 2050 could create 200 000 more jobs by 2035, lower the cost of energy by 25%, save 196,000,000,000 litres of water per year and make our energy system more reliable - which mean no more load shedding!

On Saturday, we ride as a collective to call for South Africa to embark on a just energy transition and switch from coal-fired power to renewable energy, which is the cheapest form of energy available.

We start at 09h00 from the Colin Eglin library in Seapoint (Civic Centre, Cnr Three Anchor Bay Rd & Main Rd, 8005 , Cape Town, Western Cape).

Dress code is "bare as you dare". Do something constructive and help protect our planet in a body positive manner. Join us for the ride of your life - because our lives and that of the planet depends on it.

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