South Africa: The Climate Crisis and Environmental Justice Must Take Centre Stage in the Coming New World

opinion

Covid-19 has forced a shift in mindsets across the world, and it's this same acute shift that needs to be applied to our environmental crises.

It is only a few short months since environmental issues such as climate change featured regularly in the news and arguably with a prominence that they had never enjoyed before. Greta Thunberg became a household name as she and her supporters raised awareness about the impending climate change crisis.

In the lead-up to COP-25, the United Nations meeting which was held in December to advance climate change responses, world leaders were urged to step up their levels of ambition in responding to climate change by the UN Climate Change's Executive Secretary. Thousands of people added their voices to this appeal as they protested outside the meeting halls, and in vast gatherings around the world. Our own Environment Minister, Barbara Creecy, agreed with the calls when she said: "Science is sending a clear message that we face a climate emergency and that everybody needs to act with a renewed sense of urgency."

Despite these calls, COP-25 did not result in meaningful progress. Government leaders were simply unwilling to take the hard decisions that would necessarily and...

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