A Climate Justice Critique of South African Political Parties

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A Socialist Project e-bulletin ... No. 1815 ... May 2, 2019

A Climate Justice Critique of South African Political Parties

Vishwas Satgar

What are the commitments of the ANC, DA and EFF to a Deep Just Transition to Sustain Life?

South Africa goes to its 6th national elections on May 8th, 2019, with 48 contesting parties. This is in a context in which inequality is worsening, costs of living are going up and unemployment is a major challenge. This election is also happening while South Africa’s worst drought in recorded history is still ravaging various villages and towns. All our political parties have failed to recognize the drought as a climate shock. All seemed surprised by cyclone Idai, another climate shock, and its devastation.

The science on climate change from the UN Intergovernmental Panel... on Climate Change (IPCC) is clear that as planet earth is heated through more greenhouse gas emissions (from burning coal, oil and gas) we will have more extreme weather shocks such as droughts, heatwaves, floods, cyclones and more. We are currently at 1.2° Celsius hotter since before the industrial revolution and are fast heading to a 1.5°C overshoot unless over the next 12 years we cut emissions by 45 per cent to 2010 levels and to net zero by 2050. We have 12 years to prevent catastrophic climate change.

This climate justice critique is based on a reading of party manifestos. It applies to all political parties while making specific critiques of the African National Congress (ANC), Democratic Alliance (DA) and Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF), the larger parties in South Africa’s current political system.

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