AfricaFocus Bulletin
November 10, 2016 (161110)
(Reposted from sources cited below)

Editor’s Note

“Africa is already burning. The election of Trump is a disaster for
our continent. The United States, if it follows through on its new
President’s rash words about withdrawing from the international
climate regime, will become a pariah state in global efforts for
climate action. This is a moment where the rest of the world must
not waver and must redouble commitments to tackle dangerous climate
change,”  Geoffrey Kamese, Friends of the Earth Africa.

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[This version of this AfricaFocus Bulletin sent out by email contains
only brief excerpts from each article. For more extensive excerpts,
read on-line at; for
full articles go to the link cited in each case.]

There is no doubt that the election of Donald Trump poses an extreme
threat to action on climate change, as on a host of other
interconnected issues. But, in this case, as in many others, it is
important to remember that a U.S. president, no matter how powerful,
is only one of the forces affecting the outcomes.

Yes, this is a major setback, but the threat did not begin with
Trump and the struggles to combat it must and will continue – on
multiple fronts. While no one organization or movement can fight on
all fronts, those forces fighting for justice and for a future for
our planet must have a vision of a wider background than one U.S.
presidential election.

The context is not only the United States, but the world. And the
arenas are not only political (at multiple levels of government, and
even within the executive branch of the federal government itself),
but also technical, economic, and activist (from divestment to
protest sites such as the Dakota Pipeline). No one organization or
even movement can be on all fronts at once, but together we must
find ways to strategies embedded in a wider vision rather than
engage in fruitless debates about which action track is the “most

This AfricaFocus Bulletin consists of excerpts from a selection of
statements and articles illustrating the multiple tracks on which
action to combat the threat of global warming can and must take
place, globally, in Africa, and in the United States.

* The first two statements are reactions from climate activists to
the additional threat posed by the election of Donald Trump.

* The third highlights the continuing technical and economic success
of cheap off-grid and mini-grid solar in Africa, which is now
estimated to be reaching 10% of the 600,000 Africans living off
national  electricity grids.

* The next provides a summary of both the necessity and the economic
and technical viability of a comprehensive transition away from
fossil fuels, from Oil Change International and a coalition of
related organizations.

* The fifth is an open letter from climate activist groups to the
Equator Principles Association of banks committed to social
responsibility principles, calling for withdrawal of support for the
Dakota Access Pipeline.

* The sixth is an update from the International Energy Agency,
revising upwards its projections for growth of renewable energy

* And the last is a report from South Africa’s Council for
Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) noting that “new power
from solar PV and wind today is at least 40% cheaper than that from
new baseload coal today.”

For previous AfricaFocus Bulletins on the environment and climate
issues, visit

Other background articles worth noting:

“There’s no way around it: Donald Trump is going to be a disaster
for the planet,” Vox, Nov 9, 2016

“10 Ways You Can Help the Standing Rock Sioux Fight the Dakota
Access Pipeline”

25 Snapshots from the Stillwater Pow Wow

++++++++++++++++++++++end editor’s note+++++++++++++++++

“Deep breaths. Now let’s plan the fight ahead,”, Nov 9, 2016

[Excerpts: full text at]

Here’s what I’m keeping in mind right now:

* This is a global movement. It’s more important than ever to
remember our connection with people in literally every country who
are fighting the fossil fuel industry right now — many in the
toughest conditions imaginable. I believe in our collective power
like nothing else.

* The fossil fuel industry is in a fight for its life. When we
expose their lies, stop their pipelines, divest from their stocks
and take away their social license — they fight back. Their
investment in this election was no secret, and they’re going to
double-down in its aftermath.

* Local fossil fuel resistance is taking root everywhere. Not only
has the fight against the Dakota Access pipeline spread like
wildfire, but other campaigns against fracking, pipelines, and coal
are too many to name. None of us are giving up or going home today.


Global Community Must Unite Against Trump to Avoid Climate

Friends of the Earth International

Joint Press release

9 November 2016

As news of Donald Trump’s victory in the US Presidential Election
reached Marrakech, climate justice groups gathered at the COP22
United Nations annual climate change talks reacted:

“Whilst the election of a climate denier into the White House sends
the wrong signal globally. The grassroots movements for climate
justice – Native American communities, people of color, working
people – those that are at this moment defending water rights in
Dakota, ending fossil fuel pollution, divesting from the fossil fuel
industry, standing with communities who are losing their homes and
livelihoods from extreme weather devastation to creating a renewable
energy transformation – are the real beating heart of the movement
for change. We will redouble our efforts, grow stronger and remain
committed to stand with those on the frontline of climate injustice
at home and abroad.. In the absence of leadership from our
government, the international community must come together redouble
their effort to prevent climate disaster,” said Jesse Bragg, from
Boston-based Corporate Accountability International.

“For communities in the global south, the U.S. citizens’ choice to
elect Donald Trump seems like a death sentence. Already we are
suffering the effects of climate change after years of inaction by
rich countries like the U.S., and with an unhinged climate change
denier now in the White House, the relatively small progress made is
under threat. The international community must not allow itself to
be dragged into a race to the bottom. Other developed countries like
Europe, Canada, Australia, and Japan must increase their pledges for
pollution cuts and increase their financial support for our
communities,” said Wilfred D’Costa from the Asian Peoples’ Movement
on Debt and Development.

[continued on-line]


As prices plunge, Africa surges into clean, cheap solar energy

Maina Waruru

Mail and Guardian, 12 Oct 2016

Solar systems in Africa can now provide electricity for many
households for as little as $56 a year.

Last August Kenya won $36 million in support from France to put in
place 23 mini-grid systems in northern Kenya that will use solar
panels, wind or a combination of the two. (Bloomberg) Last August
Kenya won $36 million in support from France to put in place 23
mini-grid systems in northern Kenya that will use solar panels, wind
or a combination of the two. (Bloomberg) Until almost two years ago,
James Mbugua, a farmer living in Karai, a village on the outskirts
of Kenya’s capital, relied on kerosene to light his house, and a car
battery to power his television so he wouldn’t miss the news.

Part of the reason he couldn’t plug into the power grid, despite
being so close to Nairobi and in an area where electricity is
readily available, is that he lives on government land as a
squatter, with no papers to show he owns the 70-foot by 80-foot
parcel where he has put up a makeshift house.

Now, however, he has found an alternative: An affordable solar
system to power his home.

“I could not go on like that and had to seek an alternative way of
lighting my house and I discovered that with only $150 I could use
solar to light my house and power the television plus radio,” he
told the Thomson Reuters Foundation.

The money for the purchase, he said, came from a loan from his
community savings group, which asks members to contribute $5 a month
and then offers loans from that pot of cash.

The father of five grown children is one of the millions of people
across Africa who are taking advantage of falling prices of home
solar panel systems to get cheaper, cleaner and more reliable

According to the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA), home
solar systems in Africa can now provide electricity for many
households for as little as $56 a year – a cost lower than getting
energy from diesel or paraffin.

Of the estimated 600 million people living off-grid in Africa, about
10 percent of them are now using off-grid clean energy to light
their homes, according to IRENA statistics.

[continued on-line]


The Sky’s Limit: Why the Paris Climate Goals Require a Managed
Decline of Fossil Fuel Production

Greg Muttitt, September 22, 2016

Oil Change International, in collaboration with, Amazon
Watch, APMDD, AYCC, Bold Alliance, Christian Aid, Earthworks,
Équiterre, Global Catholic Climate Movement, HOMEF, Indigenous
Environmental Network, IndyAct, Rainforest Action Network, and

September 2016

Press Release

A new study released by Oil Change International, in partnership
with 14 organizations from around the world, scientifically grounds
the growing movement to keep carbon in the ground by revealing the
need to stop all new fossil fuel infrastructure and industry
expansion. It focuses on the potential carbon emissions from
developed reserves – where the wells are already drilled, the pits
dug, and the pipelines, processing facilities, railways, and export
terminals constructed.

Key Findings:

The potential carbon emissions from the oil, gas, and coal in the
world’s currently operating fields and mines would take us beyond
2deg C of warming.

The reserves in currently operating oil and gas fields alone, even
with no coal, would take the world beyond 1.5°C.

With the necessary decline in production over the coming decades to
meet climate goals, clean energy can be scaled up at a corresponding
pace, expanding the total number of energy jobs.

Key Recommendations:

No new fossil fuel extraction or transportation infrastructure
should be built, and governments should grant no new permits for

Some fields and mines – primarily in rich countries – should be
closed before fully exploiting their resources, and financial
support should be provided for non-carbon development in poorer

This does not mean stopping using all fossil fuels overnight.
Governments and companies should conduct a managed decline of the
fossil fuel industry and ensure a just transition for the workers
and communities that depend on it.

[continued on-line]


An open letter to the Equator Principles Association

Civil society groups call for stronger climate commitments in EPs
and a halt to financing the Dakota Access Pipeline

By: BankTrack,Friends of the Earth US,others & RAN

For full version, including signatories and references, visit – Direct URL:

Nov 7 2016

[For contact on this letter:]   To:  Mr. Nigel
Beck, Standard Bank, Chair of the Equator Principles Association,
All Equator Principles Financial institutions (EPFIs)

Concerning:  Equator Principles climate commitments, and EPFI
financing of the Dakota Access Pipeline, for discussion at your
Annual Meeting and Workshop in London

Dear Mr. Beck,

The undersigned organizations are writing to you, as Chair of the
Equator Principles Association, to urge the Association at its
upcoming Annual Meeting in London to address two distinct and
important issues:

* Equator Principles Financial Institutions (EPFIs) must take long
overdue, concrete steps to strengthen their climate commitments.

* Our deep concern about the involvement of a substantial number of
EPFIs in the financing of the Dakota Access Pipeline (DAPL).

[continued on-line]


IEA raises its five-year renewable growth forecast as 2015 marks
record year (Paris)

International Energy Agency 25 October 2016 – Direct URL:

The International Energy Agency said today that it was significantly
increasing its five-year growth forecast for renewables thanks to
strong policy support in key countries and sharp cost reductions.
Renewables have surpassed coal last year to become the largest
source of installed power capacity in the world.

The latest edition of the IEA’s Medium-Term Renewable Market Report
now sees renewables growing 13% more between 2015 and 2021 than it
did in last year’s forecast, due mostly to stronger policy backing
in the United States, China, India and Mexico. Over the forecast
period, costs are expected to drop by a quarter in solar PV and 15
percent for onshore wind.

Last year marked a turning point for renewables. Led by wind and
solar, renewables represented more than half the new power capacity
around the world, reaching a record 153 Gigawatt (GW), 15% more than
the previous year. Most of these gains were driven by record-level
wind additions of 66 GW and solar PV additions of 49 GW.

About half a million solar panels were installed every day around
the world last year. In China, which accounted for about half the
wind additions and 40% of all renewable capacity increases, two wind
turbines were installed every hour in 2015.

“We are witnessing a transformation of global power markets led by
renewables and, as is the case with other fields, the center of
gravity for renewable growth is moving to emerging markets,” said Dr
Fatih Birol, the IEA’s executive director.

[continued on-line]


Comparative Analysis: The cost of new power generation in South

Chris Yelland

Daily Maverick, 9 November 2016

In a presentation dated October 14, 2016, the head of CSIR’s Energy
Centre, Dr Tobias Bischof-Niemz, and Ruan Fourie, energy economist
at CSIR’s Energy Centre, provide a comparative analysis for new
power in South Africa based on recent coal IPP bid price
announcements by Minister of Energy Tina Joemat-Pettersson on
October 10, 2016, and other data.

This study is seen as important for any review of the draft update
to the Integrated Resource Plan for Electricity (Draft IRP)
currently in progress by the Department of Energy (DoE).

The Draft IRP was to have been presented to the Cabinet last week,
and thereafter made available to the public for comment, but this
has since been delayed, with no further dates being given.

Since the previous due date of end March 2016, the request for
proposals (RFP) for the proposed 9.6 GW new nuclear build in South
Africa has also been further delayed from the revised issue date of
end September 2016.

However, it is known that in the meantime various stakeholder
structures reporting to the Minister of Energy are currently
reviewing the Draft IRP and its proposals for new renewable,
baseload coal and nuclear power, and making further input and

The CSIR study shows the significant reduction in the cost of energy
from wind and solar PV generation technologies in South Africa since
submission of bids for Window 1 of the renewable energy IPP
programme (REIPPP) on November 4, 2011, to those of the expedited
round of Window 4 on November 4, 2015.

The result of this reduction is that new power from solar PV and
wind today is at least 40% cheaper than that from new baseload coal

[continued on-line]


AfricaFocus Bulletin is an independent electronic publication
providing reposted commentary and analysis on African issues, with a
particular focus on U.S. and international policies. AfricaFocus
Bulletin is edited by William Minter.

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