We are happy to present our 2016 annual report (link to PDF), a review of our activities for the past year:
2017 saw the world both advancing and retreating on climate issues. The year started with the encouraging news of the landmark Paris agreement on climate change, which entered into force in November, years ahead of schedule; and ended with the election of a climate denier to the US presidency, and news that global warming in 2016 had already come close to the 1.5 degree boundary the Paris agreement was supposed to establish.
The renewable energy revolution continued largely unabated, while the international divestment movement expanded to cover $5,4 trillion in total assets (total value of funds divesting, not capital divested).
Fossil Free South Africa continued our work to expand awareness of the dangers of the fossil fuel industry – and raise the profile of possible divestment – in South Africa, largely in our key campaign at UCT, which is now close to adopting a responsible investment policy. We are now exploring the possibility of establishing our own vanguard fossil-free fund, and hope to hold a workshop in early 2017 to encourage local financial services companies to start thinking along similar lines.
Plans for 2017
Our key plans for 2017 include:
- Continuing our keystone campaign for UCT to divest, as well as other SA universities.
- Hosting a workshop (funding now confirmed) for SA fund owners and managers on carbon risk management and progressive/responsible/ethical investment in South Africa. Current enlisted partners include the Centre for Environmental Rights and 350.org. WWF has offered support in kind.
- Working to establish our own decarbonised fund in partnership with Delta 4.
- Building our Fossil Free SA supporters community through quarterly public meetings.
If further funding materialises:
- Expanding engagements with financial services companies.
- Building links with other organisations working for environmental justice in the fossil fuel sector, which may include exploring and supporting legal challenges to government’s current energy policy.
- Employing research, activist and marketing staff.