#UniteBehind members took part in the global climate strike on September 20.
On 20 September, #Unitedbehind activists marched alongside young people in Cape Town and in solidarity with millions of them across the world, calling for urgent action to reduce global carbon emissions and fight global warming.
South Africa is one of the biggest contributors to carbon emissions in the world, owing to our use of fossil fuels to create electricity and to power road transport. Effects of climate change have been severe on the poor and vulnerable in our country, in other African neighbours, and around the world.
Recent examples like heavy rains resulting in people living in informal settlements losing their lives and their property; the City of Cape Town’s drought and water shortages; and the devastating impact of Cyclone Idai, illustrates the urgency required in dealing with the climate emergency.
Some of the hardest hit in those countries are forced to migrate in large numbers to countries like ours to seek slightly better lives. However, those migrants are met with xenophobic violence in our country.
While the impacts of climate change are being felt everywhere and are having very real consequences on people’s lives, one would expect urgent and firm action to reduce carbon emissions from the South African Government. One of the areas where large benefits can be immediately realized is fixing State Owned Enterprises like the Passenger Rail Agency of South Africa (PRASA) and Eskom, that were destroyed by state capture.
Fixing PRASA and commuter rail transport will have a huge impact in reducing the use of private vehicles, per capita emissions and congestion on our roads.