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Article

9 Sep 2016

Author:
Various NGOs (South Africa)

So. Africa: 30 NGOs write open letter to govt. urging Eskom's compliance with obligations to protect the environment and human health

"An open letter to ensure Eskom’s compliance", 8 Sept 2016

As civil society organisations and citizens working towards the achievement of environmental rights and environmental justice in our communities across South Africa, the signatories to this letter are highly alarmed by the conduct of Eskom and government in recent months. We are also extremely concerned that the detrimental health, water, and climate impacts of Eskom’s operation...Renewable energy has been shown to be cheaper than coal, even when the significant environmental and health impacts of coal are discounted...In stark contrast to clean, affordable renewable energy, coal-fired power stations have significant impacts on human health and the environment, including South Africa’s scarce water resources...Eskom’s non-compliance with numerous legislative requirements for its coal-fired stations...exacerbates these impacts, consistently violating constitutional rights to an environment not harmful to health and well-being...Eskom’s proposals  to extend the lives of its ageing, polluting coal-fired power stations makes its non-compliance even more concerning...Eskom’s behaviour and anti-renewable energy rhetoric simply fly in the face of state’s constitutional obligations and all available evidence...We call upon the Ministers of Energy, Public Enterprises, Environmental Affairs, and Health to take all steps necessary to ensure that Eskom honours government’s legal obligations and its renewable energy policy objectives to secure clean energy that will protect people’s health and well-being.