We are a network of South Africans calling for divestment from fossil fuels – and restorative reinvestment in sustainable energy – to stigmatise fossil fuel use, accelerate sustainable system change, help slow climate change, reduce the financial risks of fossil fuel investments, and so help secure our human rights and common future.

Please list links to your Website and Social Media Platforms here: 

www.fossilfreesa.org.za
https://instagram.com/fossilfreesa
https://twitter.com/FossilFreeSA
https://www.facebook.com/FossilFreeSA/

Describe in detail what your Organisation does: 

For a stable climate, fewer wars, healthy children, clear air & water, a switch to wind & solar energy, green jobs, stable energy costs and energy independence, cleaner governance, more land for food and forests, sound investments and quieter cities, it’s time to divest from fossil fuels: oil, gas and coal.

Climate change, mostly caused by burning fossil fuels, is a highly probable, potentially deadly threat to humanity. Government actions to slow climate change remain inadequate and fossil fuel companies continue to block change.

We are a network of South Africans calling for divestment from fossil fuels – and restorative reinvestment in sustainable energy – to stigmatise fossil fuel use, accelerate sustainable system change, help slow climate change, reduce the financial risks of fossil fuel investments, and so help secure our human rights and common future.

Our campaign began in November 2013 with a call on the University of Cape Town to divest. In June 2017, we helped persuade the City of Cape Town to become the first city in an African or developing country to divest. We are part of the growing global movement for divestment first inspired by 350.org.

We are members of the SA Climate Action Network, and affiliated to the #UniteBehind coalition.

How long has your Organisation been operational? 

Four years, as an organisation, five as a campaign.

In your opinion, what has been the most challenging aspect of running your Organisation? 

Finding time and inspiration to work on a voluntary basis, then finding funding to scale up, now finding ways to persuade the general public of the extreme urgency of stopping the world’s use of fossil fuels before it’s too late to avert massive damage.

Describe your Nonprofit Journey in three words: 

Lonely, determined, vital.

Do you collaborate with other Causes? If yes, would you like to mention them? 

350 Africa
African Climate Reality Project
Centre for Environmental Justice
Just Share
Earthlife Africa Johannesburg
Project 90 by 2030
Southern African Faith Communities Environment Institute
SA CAN
Greyton Transition Town
Steenbokpan Community Forum
South Durban Community Environmental Alliance
Green Anglicans
Green Campus Initiative (UCT)
EcoMaties (Stellenbosch University)
Greenpeace

If you had one Organisation wish, what would it be? 

Social justice organisations and philanthropies in South Africa need to wake up to how the environmental and climate crisis is a human rights crisis of massive proportions that threatens all their good work in the social domain. They need to address it in their work, and particularly, demand that their financial service providers stop investing in fossil fuels. It makes no sense to be working for positive social development while your endowment is part-invested in coal, oil and gas companies that are destroying our collective future. Yes, we still need fossil fuels as a society. But these companies need to commit to a transition away from their current business models. As humanity has come to dominate the global ecology, our collective use of fossil fuels has shifted from being collectively enriching to being collectively impoverishing. All too few people yet grasp this, but social justice and developmental organisations have a particular responsibility to operationalise this insight.

In your opinion, which skills do Nonprofits in your Country lack? 

Though I usually feel like a rank amateur myself, especially in my knowledge/ignorance of financial services and investment, I think there are very skilled people in SA non-profits. The problem is we’re trying to make up for vast gaps caused by an eroded government, and eroded social and environmental capital, and – despite ostensibly being the land of ubuntu – a vast ubuntu deficit. South Africans simply do not, at an institutional level, currently respect each other enough to build the thriving eco-social democracy we need. Is love for fellow living beings a skill?

Looking back at your Cause Journey, what advice would you give a newbie Organisation? 

Don’t give up. Seek out good advice and partners. Listen and learn constantly.

If you could change one thing about the Nonprofit Landscape, what would it be? 

It sounds crass, but we need more money.

Which Cause achievement are you most proud of? Feel free to elaborate on why and include any links: 

As a result of our work with 350 Africa, the City of Cape Town committed to fossil fuel divestment in June 2017, a first for an African city or city in a developing country. But it’s a mixed accomplishment – they’ve been extremely slow and reluctant to engage in transparent engagement about the details of the commitment, and recently announced a research partnership on natural gas – a fossil fuel! – infrastructure, with the Trump administration! One step forward, one back.

Last question, if your friends had to describe your Organisation in three words, which would they use? 

Pioneering.
Important.
Unknown.

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