- The DA has passed a resolution for greater investment in renewable energy rather than the coal-gobbling Eskom.
- Several environmental resolutions were not passed.
- A delegate said other delegates sounded like Donald Trump after jibes at Greta Thunberg and the Paris Agreement.
While 15 out of the 38 resolutions proposed at the DA’s federal congress this past weekend dealt with environmental affairs, the blue party didn’t turn fully green, as many of these resolutions were not passed.
The DA did pass a resolution to secure the energy future of South Africans and addressing the climate crisis.
This resolution was brought by at that stage still interim leader John Steenhuisen who said Eskom remained one of the biggest polluters in the country and was a failed state entity.
He wants to give “power to the people” and invest in renewable energy, which is fast becoming cheaper than coal. It would reduce carbon emissions by 80% and relieve South Africans from Eskom’s loadshedding, said Steenhuisen.
A resolution proposed by Tiaan Kotzé that ‘ecocide’ be classified as a crime against humanity was not passed. Several of those who opposed the resolution, like Mpumalanga leader Jane Sithole, raised concerns about equating environmental destruction with crimes against humanity like apartheid and genocide.
Chris Pappas’ resolution that an ad hoc committee for climate change should be established in the National Assembly was also not passed, with the general feeling that there already is a portfolio committee dealing with the environment.
DA MP Ashor Sarupen said the ANC was the “least green party” in the country and the DA should instead work on the portfolio committee to ensure that climate change was a standing agenda item.
DA MPs Ghaleb Cachalia and James Lorimer opposed several of the resolutions dealing with climate change. Cachalia said policy must be based on evidence, and not on the ideas of Swedish climate activist Greta Thunberg, who he called an “angry and challenged teenager”.
Lorimer added the Paris Agreement was ignored by many developed countries and it was expensive for developing countries.
Pappas said “people are speaking like Donald Trump”, who once called Thunberg an angry teenager who should chill and go watch a movie, who controversially took the US out of the Paris Agreement.
Steenhuisen’s challenger for the party’s leadership Mbali Ntuli’s proposed resolution to ban canned lion hunting was accepted, albeit with an amendment by Cachalia that the matter must first be researched.
A resolution to ban circus animals was one of those not approved.