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The European Film Festival’s climate programme includes screenings of the I am Greta documentary and awareness discussions in schools and community centres around the country and the live Zoom event Climate Justice South Africa: sharpening the spear.

This Zoom event brings pertinent experts together for a series of short presentations articulating the status of local climate change impacts, and outlining mitigation strategies, initiatives, and ways forward for South Africa.

Sharpening the spear for climate justice and building back better after Covid-19

In a presentation entitled From Climate (in)Action to Climate Justice, an author of numerous books and articles, Professor Patrick Bond of the University of the Western Cape School of Government, will offer an overview of climate politics and projects in South Africa. His critiques are razor sharp, and tackle the UN, national and municipal governments, corporations and activists, in turn.

From the renowned advocacy and activist group Earthlife Africa, Ulrich Steenkamp’s  presentation on Energy Democracy is framed against the democratic rights of the citizens of this country, the need for access to clean energy, and for participation in decision-making processes.

Avena Jacklin of the Pietermaritzburg-based NGO groundWork/Friends of the Earth South Africa  addresses Environmental Protection Urgencies. She connects the dots from climate to the devastating water crises – droughts and periodic floods – and the importance of reshaping management of this basic resource.

The younger generation is whose future is most at stake, as explained by Ayakha Melithafa from the Africa Climate Alliance. What innovative approaches do the youth bring to advocacy efforts and awareness campaigns, how does Youth Activism feed into policy and legislative processes so that South Africa is able to address the challenges with integrity, fairness and justice? What ecological and social rights do we need to recognise what must be ensured for future generations?

All the member states participating in this European Film Festival are signatories to the Paris Agreement. South Africa is a signatory. Now that the United States is going to rejoin Paris, once Donald Trump vacates the White House next January 20, a global-to-national-to-local scan is vital.

I Am Greta

One of the films in this year’s European Film Festival is I am Greta the new documentary on Greta Thunberg, the Swedish teenager whose quiet yet laser-sharp focus has generated massive public attention on climate change, and inspired a generation of young activists.   See also News Blog

  • The film will be screened online in South Africa, from 12 to 22 November, and will be augmented by a number of climate action activities including this live discussion on Friday, 13 November at 18:00 (SA Time).

Greta Thunberg teaches us how to do this through the idealistic eyes of the youth, and we must turn a laser glare to addressing this greatest crisis humanity has ever faced, especially since the “Just Transition”, “decarbonisation” and “Build Back Better” refrains are still being heard from the South African presidency. This Live Zoom discussion is a reminder of the climate catastrophe and a call to action, to all of us. Access the event at 18.00 (SA time) on Friday 13 November through a link from the Special Events page .

This event is dedicated to the memory of Fikile Ntshangase, the anti-mining activist who was assassinated on 22 October. Ntshangase was the deputy chairperson of the Mfolozi Community Environmental Justice Organisation (Mcejo), which has stood steadfastly against the Tendele Coal Mine’s expansion in the Somkhele village area.

WHAT: Live Zoom event Climate Justice South Africa: sharpening the spear
WHEN: 18.00 (SA time) on Friday 13 November
HOW: Link to the Special Events page

See also Cape Town Green Map