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Centre for Environmental Rights – Advancing Environmental Rights in South Africa

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Pollution & Climate Change


Challenges of decisions in relation to coal-fired independent power producers (IPPs)

Challenges of proposed coal infrastructure projects

Mokolo Crocodile Water Augmentation Project Phase 2A Appeal (MCWAP-2A)

Legal Challenges in relation to the Air Pollution and the Minimum Emission Standards

Amicus application to highlight the constitutional obligations of local government

Challenges of decisions by district municipalities to grant atmospheric emission licences for Eskom coal-fired power stations

Application to Compel Reasons for the Integrated Resource Plan for Electricity (IRP)

This is an application filed by groundWork against the Minister of Mineral Resources and Energy and the National Energy Regulator of South Africa (NERSA). groundWork is asking the Court to order the Minister and NERSA to provide reasons for various decisions in relation to the Integrated Resource Plan for Electricity (IRP), which was published in October 2019.

groundWork has been asking for reasons from the parties for its decisions in relation to the IRP since November 2019. As this exercise of public power by the Minister and NERSA regarding South Africa’s electricity plan has a material and direct impact on the rights of the people of South Africa, groundWork argues it is entitled to the reasons for the decisions to promulgate the IRP

Cancel Coal: Legal Challenge of Government’s Plan for New Coal-fired Power Capacity

The #CancelCoal court case is a constitutional challenge against the South African government’s plans to develop 1500 megawatts (MW) of new coal-fired electricity generation. The environmental and climate justice organisations bringing the case are the African Climate Alliance, Vukani Environmental Justice Movement in Action, and groundWork. They argue that the government’s plans to develop new coal plants threaten not only the rights to an environment not harmful to the health or well-being of present and future generations in South Africa but also the rights to life, dignity, equality, as well as the best interests of the child.

This is because the carbon dioxide emissions and pollution from coal-fired power poses unjustifiable harms and risks of harm to human health, the environment, and importantly, our climate. Expert evidence supporting the case, shows that we do not need this coal power to meet the country’s electricity needs, now or in the future, and it adds significant costs and emissions to SA’s electricity system. SA’s electricity needs can be met by available and less harmful renewable energy alternatives, which are also cheaper than the proposed new coal-fired power.

Challenges to Gas Developments