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Wednesday, September 27, 2023

It’s time to finally free Africa from coal, say campaigners

In a bid to halt the exploration and use of coal in Africa (or decoalonise Africa) and move towards 100% renewable energy, the #deCOALonise Africa campaign seeks to stop the development of coal infrastructure within the continent through strengthened community resistance and international collaboration. In this piece, the campaigners insist that Africa is not a dumping ground for dirty, dangerous and outdated power plants. The campaign is being promoted by 350.0rg and decoalonize.org

coal mining
The Federal Government of Nigeria has commenced moves to revive mining activities in Enugu coal mines, which have been inactive for about 40 years

So far, 2017 is the second-hottest year on record. Climate change is here, and Africa is feeling the impacts deeply. Despite this, governments across the continent are making plans to develop massive new coal mines and power plants.

Coal is a killer, and Africa deserves better. We deserve a future free of coal and other fossil fuels and based on clean renewable energy for all.

That’s why we’re launching the #deCOALonise campaign today.

Wherever governments are planning big new coal projects, people resist. Wherever companies and politicians are putting profits before public health, people resist. All over the continent, local communities are actively fighting for a fossil free future.

The #deCOALonise campaign is lifting up these pockets of resistance and highlighting the power of local communities to fight dangerous, unwanted coal projects. This new platform is a space for learning and sharing, for shining a light on the devastating impacts of the coal industry, and for uniting the many powerful grassroots groups working to end the age of coal in Africa.

Africa’s colonial history continues today in the form of the coal industry.

We need to make it crystal clear: the same kind of thinking underpins this new push for coal as the early waves of colonialism in Africa – greed, extraction, and exploitation. If we want to have a planet and continent where future generations can thrive, we have to stop coal development in its tracks.

By building solidarity between the many groups and campaigns fighting coal across the continent, we can show the coal industry that Africa is not a dumping ground for their dirty, dangerous and outdated power plants. Africans are through with their pollution and exploitation.

It will be through local African communities resisting new coal infrastructure and embracing clean, renewable energy that we can shake off the past and chart a course to a better future.

Together, we can pave the way to energy solutions that are for and by Africans.

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