Nuclear goes ahead despite omission from NDC

SAFCEI's Regional Coordinator meets with Minister of Eenvironment Edna Molewa at COP debriefing on 27th January 2016

SAFCEI’s Regional Coordinator meets with Minister of Eenvironment Edna Molewa at COP debriefing on 27th January 2016

Ahead of COP21 in Paris last year, civil society met with the Department of Environmental Affairs (DEA) to give input into the Intended Nationally Determined Contribution for South Africa (INDC). “We worked hard on our input to the DEA stakeholder meetings and this resulted in the omission of ‘nuclear’ from the NDC as a solution to reduce carbon emissions” said Lydia Mogano from Southern African Faith Communities’ Institute’s (SAFCEI).

However, when Lydia Mogano asked Minister Edna Molewa about this at a COP debriefing yesterday, the Minister stated that South Africa has an IRP Plan with energy mix that includes solar, wind, hydro and nuclear. Although South Africa didn’t specify the inclusion of nuclear, this is what will be implemented in order to reduce carbon emissions.

SAFCEI believes that this new nuclear power poses unacceptable environmental, social and economic risks to the people of South Africa and believes that concentrated focus on renewable energy is the key to alleviating poverty and addressing the developmental needs of the country. SAFCEI has, together with the rest of South Africa, watched with disquiet the changing of Finance Ministers in December. Key to the firing of Minister Nene appeared to be his reluctance to approve a nuclear financial deal that would destroy the economy. It seems that South Africa is going to go nuclear at any cost, including sacrificing democratic rights of speaking out.

SAFCEI believes that Ethical governance has to be the cornerstone of true democracy, stated Lydia Mogano, “this new democracy must be held accountable or risk bankrupting the country”, adding “it is our faith that gives us courage. As people of faith, we are concerned about the direction our leadership is taking. We need and deserve transparency, honesty and openness around the decisions being made for our future.”

Environmental justice organisations, Earthlife Africa Johannesburg (ELA-Jhb) and the Southern African Faith Communities’ Environment Institute (SAFCEI) have gone to court in a bid to challenge government’s plan to procure 9600 MW of nuclear reactors.

 

 

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Additional information:

SAFCEI in its submission to the INDC in September 2015 writes: “Noting that the nuclear energy deal is not about energy (as shown by the draft IRP2010 prior to policy adjustment which indicated that the best option did not include nuclear energy), SAFCEI therefore believes that nuclear energy should not form part of the INDC.  Rather, the INDC should commit South Africa to the best affordable alternative low carbon technologies and such analysis and cost comparisons (which include externalities) should form part of the mitigation planning ahead of 2020.”

Nevertheless, without explicitly mentioning it, the INDC’s reference to clean and high-efficiency technology could be construed as making an indirect reference to nuclear: “At the heart of this part of the transition to a low-carbon energy sector is a complete transformation of the future energy mix, which is designed to replace an inefficient fleet of ageing coal-fired power plants with clean and high efficiency technology going forward.”

SAFCEI believes that this new nuclear power poses unacceptable environmental, social and economic risks to the people of South Africa and believes that concentrated focus on renewable energy is the key to alleviating poverty and addressing the developmental needs of the country. SAFCEI has, together with the rest of South Africa, watched with disquiet the changing of Finance Ministers over the last few days. Key to the firing of Minister Nene appeared to be his reluctance to approve a nuclear financial deal that would destroy the economy. It seems that South Africa is going to go nuclear at any cost, including sacrificing democratic rights of speaking out.

“Ethical governance has to be the cornerstone of true democracy”, stated Liziwe McDaid, spokesperson for SAFCEI, “this new democracy must be protected from people in positions of power who act without regard to proper process, without accountability and risk bankrupting the country”.  McDaid added that: “Faith demands courage. As people of faith, we are concerned about the direction in which we are currently being led by our leadership. We request transparency, honesty and openness around the decisions being made for our future.”

Environmental justice organisations, Earthlife Africa Johannesburg (ELA-Jhb) and the Southern African Faith Communities’ Environment Institute (SAFCEI) have gone to court in a bid to challenge government’s plan to procure 9600 MW of nuclear reactors.

On the 12th of October 2015 the two organisations issued their application papers out of the Cape Town High Court challenging various aspects of the nuclear procurement process.In its papers, Earthlife Africa Jhb and SAFCEI maintain that the minister has failed to put the necessary processes in place to ensure that the nuclear procurement deal is conducted lawfully and meets the requirements of the constitution for a fair, equitable, transparent, competitive and costs effective process:

“Notwithstanding the vast sums of money to be committed, and the potentially long-term effect on the economy and for consumers of electricity and present and future generations of South Africans, the decision to proceed with procuring these nuclear power plants (the so called nuclear fleet), and to have concluded such procurement in the next few months, has occurred without any of the necessary statutory and constitutional decisions having been lawfully taken”.

 

Photos – SAFCEI’s Lydia Mogano with Minister Edna Molewa at the New Age Business Breakfast , 27-01-2016

 Further reading: www.nuclearcostssa.org

Download Court papers

 

SAFCEI and ELA Jhb are in need of funds to pursue court action. https://www.givengain.com/cause/6357

 

For more information contact info@safcei.org.za

 

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