Meeting with Climate Campaigners to discuss South Africa’s transition to Net Zero

Oct 5, 2022 | Campaigns

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Bell standing with South African climate campaigners at the Friends of the Earth headquarters.

Last year, the Government announced a Just Transition Energy Partnership to support South Africa’s push to decarbonise its economy. I met with climate justice campaigners from Groundwork South Africa at the Friends of the Earth office in Stockwell to discuss progress on this scheme to date.

Campaigners are understandably worried about transparency and a lack of public participation, with South African civil society shut out of scrutiny of this deal so far. They want to know what conditions will be attached to this money. Money going to the Global South cannot be used to fund fossil fuels; it must be conditional on renewable investment, with governments in the Global South able to deliver on funding in a way that prioritises the people who live there.

They also made it clear to me that every single new oil and gas project licensed in the UK is a setback in the struggle for clean energy in South Africa and the wider global south. I’ll continue to scrutinise this partnership to ensure government green rhetoric becomes a reality and that it is delivered in a way that prioritises climate justice for the Global South ahead of corporate interests in the Global North.