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Festival of Alternatives

Durban Civil Society in Solidarity with the Climate Justice Charter Movement

Festival of Alternatives
Blue Waters Hotel 
12-13 & 19-20 November 2022

The first Conference of the Parties (CoP1) took place in Berlin, Germany, 28 March to 7 April 1995. It is also a decade since CoP17 was held in Durban. Twenty-seven and ten years later respectively, little has been achieved and we are hurtling ever faster towards a global ecological catastrophe. COP27 is taking place as worsening climate impacts are occurring around the world, from unprecedented floods in Pakistan1 to ongoing droughts and floods across Africa2, record destruction by forest fires in Europe3 and intensified storms4 in North America.

At this critical juncture – when more than ever, leaders are needed who are truly committed to the welfare of their people and protecting the planet for present and future generations – CoP27 looks set to outdo its predecessors in greenwash5, corporate capture6, and false solutions7 that will continue to enrich those who have contributed the most to climate breakdown, while those who have contributed the least suffer the worst impacts. Communities must unite to demand people-focused, real solutions that will ensure a Just Transition to a clean, green economy for the benefit of all.

The Festival of Alternatives will take place at the Blue Waters Hotel for 4 days over 2 weekends in November: 12-13th and 19-20th. The start of the Festival on 12th November is timed to coincide with the Global Day of Action 8, civil society’s response to the UNFCCC’s ‘Conference of the Polluters’ Summit. The Festival aims to highlight the impacts of oil and gas exploration along our coastline on marine life as well as the livelihoods of the fisherfolk and coastal communities that depend on the ocean. It will also focus on the devastating and deadly KZN Floods in April. Damage to water and sanitation infrastructure as a result of the floods has led to dangerous levels of pollution pouring into our rivers and ocean having a detrimental impact, not only on the environment, but on already hard-hit businesses that cater to beachgoers and tourists.

The Festival will draw attention to the fourteen articles9 of the Climate Justice Charter (CJC). The Charter10 was first presented to Parliament on World Food Day, 16 October 2020. The handover included a climate science future document prepared by leading climate scientists and a set of demands from 72 communities calling for an end to pollution, water stress, hunger and climate harm. Since then, the Climate Justice Charter Movement (CJCM) has gained momentum nationally, with more than 270 organisations formally endorsing the charter. The CJC returned again to parliament on 16th October 2021 to hand over a petition during its National Day of Action at a global solidarity assembly with the Climate Justice Charter Movement.

Themes, talks, workshops and activities at the festival will include: Storytelling and Artivism; Feeding Ourselves through Food Sovereignty; Anti-waste and Alternative Energy; the Environment and Early Childhood Education, Rights of Nature … and more. There will also be Discussions Forums, a Makers Hub, Barter Market, Green Film Festival, and Blue-Green Parade. (See Festival Programme for full list of events times and days.)

“The way forward is in harnessing the power we, as citizens, have at our disposal and creating the maximum level of unity and resistance to those in government and business dragging their feet. We can follow the creative example of the Climate Justice Charter formulated by South African civil society.” – Kumi Naidoo, former Greenpeace and Amnesty Secretary General

Please see our events page too for information and we hope to see you at the No Lives For Oil March Friday 11 Nov, Meeting at Suncoast Promenade.

Contact Delwyn at: greendelwyn@gmail.com | Phone or WhatsApp: 081 478 1220 or Nora at: nora.ramsden@gmail.com | Phone or WhatsApp: 079 289 9857

Organisers & Participants

  • Climate Justice Charter Movement | Website: https://cjcm.org.za/
  • Active Citizens Movement
  • Greenpeace Durban Local Group
  • Oceans Not Oil
  • Break Free From Plastic
  • Zero Waste Durban
  • KZN Beach Clean Up
  • Save Soil
  • Mimosa School
  • Tibet Society of Society of South Africa
  • Sutton Park Pool Food Garden
  • Cultures of Resistance
  • University of KwaZulu-Natal (UKZN)
  • Phoenix Settlement Trust
  • Green Buddies
  • Harambee Youth Employment Accelerator
  • Interfaith Youth Climate Forum
  • Green Thumb Society

    References
  1. Millions in need of aid as ‘unprecedented’ floods hit Pakistan:https://www.aljazeera.com/news/2022/8/29/catastrophic-flooding-overwhelms-pakistan
  2. Analysis: Africa’s unreported extreme weather in 2022 and climate change:https://www.carbonbrief.org/analysis-africas-unreported-extreme-weather-in-2022-and-climate-change/
  3. Europe set for record wildfire land loss in 2022: https://www.dw.com/en/europe-set-for-record-wildfire-destruction-in-2022/a-62802068
  4. Hurricane Ian Intensifies into a Monster with Climate Markings: Storms like Hurricane Ian may become more common because hurricanes are expected to rapidly intensify more often as the world warms:https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/hurricane-ian-intensifies-into-a-monster-with-climate-markings/
  5. PR firm accused of greenwashing big oil is helping organise COP27: https://www.opendemocracy.net/en/cop27- hillknowlton-pr-greenwash-egypt/
  6. Cop27 climate summit’s sponsorship by Coca-Cola: Plastics campaigners call it ‘astounding’ that a multinational they say is world’s top polluter has sponsored key UN climate meeting:https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2022/oct/04/cop27-climate-summit-sponsorship-polluter-coca- cola-condemned-as-greenwash
  7. Corporate greenwashing tactics to watch out for at COP27: https://www.globalwitness.org/en/blog/corporate- greenwashing-tactics-watch-out-cop27/
  8. Campaigners call for climate crisis global day of action during Cop27: Groups urge action during the talks in Egypt to demand climate justice for Africa and the global south:https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2022/sep/15/campaigners-call-for-climate-crisis-global-day-of- action-during-cop27
  9. Fourteen articles of the Climate Justice Charter: https://cjcm.org.za/tools/category/a70a7a0c-aa26-4a22-9ea7-1a05616021ec

10. About the Charter: https://cjcm.org.za/about

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