Extinction Rebellion Cape Town delivered a letter signed by 10 environmental organisations demanding that Cape Town Municipality declare a climate and ecological emergency. Photographer: Armand Hough/African News Agency (ANA)
Extinction Rebellion Cape Town delivered a letter signed by 10 environmental organisations demanding that Cape Town Municipality declare a climate and ecological emergency. Photographer: Armand Hough/African News Agency (ANA)

Environmental activists want Cape Town mayor to declare a climate emergency

By Shakirah Thebus Time of article published Mar 4, 2021

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Cape Town - A small group of placard-bearing climate and environmental activists protested on the steps of the Cape Town Civic Centre on Wednesday, calling for the City to declare a climate and ecological emergency.

Extinction Rebellion (XR) Cape Town activists gathered to hand over a letter signed by 10 environmental organisations, calling for stronger, immediate action to be taken against the climate crisis.

XR action co-ordinator Cassi Goodman said: “We have three demands, namely that the government tells the truth about the emergency, calling it an emergency and declaring it an emergency; act on it because it's an emergency; and that the people decide - you have to have a citizens assembly because then there’s no vested interests and lobbying and corporates (but) for people to decide which is the best way forward.”

Goodman said that the actions taken in the country and globally against the climate crisis was not urgent enough, and that mass mobilisation was needed.

On fears should vigorous action not be taken, she said, “That my children won’t have a world to grow up in. That we’ll go into famine and war and awful climate disasters that we can’t recover from, we’re not ready for that. We were not ready for Covid-19 and there’ll be more of that.”

Activist Kate Sives said, “We have about 10-15 years before there’s an irreversible feedback loop in terms of weather changes. One of the best things that we can do is move from coal and that kind of thing, to wind energy and sun energy.”

Mayco member for Energy and Climate Change Phindile Maxiti accepted the letter in mayor Dan Plato’s absence.

“As the City of Cape Town, we are leading the way in SA. I think you will all understand the dynamics that we must work under because some of the regulations by the central government are actually making things difficult for us.”

XR urged the City to be the first in Africa to declare a climate and ecological emergency, so that others might follow.

Signatories include XR, Greenpeace, 350 Africa, African Climate Alliance, Fossil Free SA, Project 90 by 2030, Green Anglicans, Africa Clockwise, the beach Co-op and Save Princess Vlei.

Cape Argus

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