25 February 2021 at 2:31 pm
If you are thinking of making a donation to a worthy cause before the end of the tax year, please consider becoming part of the work of the Centre for Environmental Rights.
Globally, the climate crisis and ecological breakdown are accelerating towards tipping points, and the devastating impacts of an at least 1.5 degree increase in average global temperatures pose catastrophic risks to the ability of our children and grandchildren to live a healthy life on this planet. Here in South Africa, the impacts of climate change are starting to bite, further exacerbating the profound social crisis of inequality and poverty, set on fire by the global COVID-19 pandemic.
Much can be done to slow down the pace of greenhouse gas emissions, to protect our soil and our water, and to build climate resilient communities. In this crucial decade of climate action, the Centre for Environmental Rights is working with our partners to achieve a society based on justice and equality in which all people and the environment can thrive, now and in the future, recognising the way in which our environment sustains life on earth. This means working for:
- a strong, growing, informed, resourced and diverse South African environmental and climate justice movement, led by and serving those most affected, is exercising its voice with regards to the exploitation of people and planet;
- laws that are promulgated and enforced, and administrative action taken, that ensure environmental and climate justice and secure Constitutional rights; and
- institutions of power that are transparent and responsive to the concerns of the environmental and climate justice movement, and to sound science.
If this speaks to you, consider supporting our work in whatever way you can. We have a new online donations portal, and as a registered public benefit organisation issue Section 18A certificates to donors on request.
A few highlights from our work in the past year:
- Earlier this month, we celebrated a momentous victory for environmental activism and free speech in the defence of a SLAPP defamation suit against two of our former attorneys, who criticised a mining operation.
- In November 2020, we achieved a major climate victory as we concluded our work on preventing the Thabametsi coal power plant from being built. The shelving of Thabametsi saved 136,1 million tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent GHG emissions from entering the atmosphere; 720 000 cubic metres of precious water per annum, for 30 years; significant air pollution; and unnecessary expenditure of R12.57 billion compared to a least cost electricity system (which is renewable and flexible, and has no new coal).
- In April 2020, in response to our appeal, the Environment Minister set aside the decision of her department to refuse to disclose key greenhouse gas emission data and reduction plans for 16 heavy polluters. In so doing, Minister Creecy ordered disclosure of the emissions data of some of South Africa’s highest greenhouse gas emitters, including Eskom, Sasol, ArcelorMittal, PPC, Exxaro, South32, Glencore, Seriti, SAPPI and Anglo American.
For more detailed reports of our work over the past year, visit: 2020: An unprecedented start to a critical decade
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The Centre for Environmental rights is a non-profit organisation of activist lawyers that works with communities and civil society organisations in South Africa realise our Constitutional right to a healthy environment by advocating and litigating for environmental justice.