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Greenpeace Africa urges government to fast-track transition to renewable energy and create jobs

Greenpeace said the multitude of crises the country is facing include the world’s highest unemployment rates and rocketing youth unemployment. Picture: Nic Bothma

Greenpeace said the multitude of crises the country is facing include the world’s highest unemployment rates and rocketing youth unemployment. Picture: Nic Bothma

Published Mar 22, 2022

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Greenpeace Africa has called on the South African government to fast-track the transition to renewable energy and create employment opportunities in the process.

South Africans are suffering in a multidimensional way, yet the solution is obvious, a just transition to renewable energy, which is the best and most immediate solution to the many intersecting crises the country is facing.

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This is according to Greenpeace Africa’s Climate and Energy Campaigner, Nhlanhla Sibisi.

Greenpeace said the multitude of crises the country is facing include the world’s highest unemployment rates and rocketing youth unemployment.

“A just transition that centres on the voices, concerns and needs of South Africans is what we need, and the opportunity to shift gears and lead the world away from fossil fuel dependence is ripe as we recover from the pandemic,” said Sibisi.

Research published by Greenpeace in 2019 revealed that millions of renewable energy jobs could be created across the continent’s energy sectors – at least 4.7 million by 2050.

Plant and machine operators and assemblers would see the largest job increase of more than 300%, with electricians and labourers close behind with more than 200%.

“A just transition ensures that South Africans’ right to a clean and safe environment is protected while also creating decent employment for South African youth who are eager to join the workforce, earn an income and support their families,” said Sibisi.

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According to Sibisi, the government has said all the right things, but effective action remains to be seen.

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