Alongside the UN climate talks that took place earlier this month, Durban’s KZN university hosted a ‘people’s space’: an alternative space where people could come together to talk about the struggle for climate justice. Bringing together activists from across the world, the space saw some fascinating exchanges, where people shared what climate justice means in the context of their own lives, and the complicated web of systemic issues that need to be tackled on the pathway for climate justice.
Whilst the mantra for many concerned citizens in the UK is to reduce energy consumption, a key demand for activists is for their right to energy access to
be met. This was one of the key issues under discussion at the people's space.
In South Africa, and across the continent, energy access is a
vital part of the struggle for climate justice. The statistics remain shocking: in Durban, nearly three-quarters of the population have no access to energy. In rural Africa, that figure is a phenomenal ninety-four percent of people who have no access to the energy they need to drill for water, power hospitals, and cook food. Yet, in a twisted misfortune of geography, Africa is warming faster than the rest of the planet, and its people are already experiencing more crop...