IN PICS: Environmental defenders descend on Sasol AGM

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While oil and gas giant Sasol held its annual general meeting (AGM), hundreds of environmental activists descended on its head office in Sandton, demanding commitment to move away from fossil fuels. 

Activists also want Sasol and its shareholders to accelerate the country’s just transition, which commits to significantly reducing carbon dioxide emissions, and moving towards greener energy alternatives. 

The protest, spearheaded by Earthlife Africa, was timed to coincide with the annual AGM of shareholders to try and convince them to encourage the company to accelerate the transition away from fossil fuels. Picture: Neil McCartney

According to shareholder activism organisation JustShare’s Sasol 2021 climate change report, Sasol is not planning to decarbonise, despite incontrovertible climate science. 

ALSO READ: SA can’t have a just energy transition without ‘support from wealthier nations’

“It appears to be highly unlikely that [Sasol] can achieve a 25% emission reduction in four years, between 2026 and 2030.

“Sasol has not set short-term emission reduction targets, nor has it committed to ensuring that its emissions do not increase in the next four years.

“Sasol has also failed to specify emission reduction targets between 2030 and 2050,” JustShare’s report read.

IN PICS: Environmental defenders descend on Sasol AGM
Picture: Neil McCartney
IN PICS: Environmental defenders descend on Sasol AGM
Picture: Neil McCartney

According to the report, Sasol first set an emission reduction target in 2019. But in 2020 and 2021, Sasol’s emissions increased. 

The only renewable energy commitments made by Sasol, JustShare reports, is the procurement of 200 megawatts, as part of its 600 megawatt project with Air Liquide. 

ALSO READ: How SA’s addiction to coal is sacrificing the planet to try keep the lights on

Earthlife Africa programme officer Ulrich Steenkamp said on Friday that Sasol should do “the responsible thing” and use the power of their vote to reject any future oil and coal plans. 

IN PICS: Environmental defenders descend on Sasol AGM
Picture: Neil McCartney

“We urge Sasol’s shareholders to align themselves with the country’s Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs) and future energy needs. 

“Climate change has life-threatening impacts on the African continent, and we need to take #ClimateActionNow.”

Leanne Govindsamy, the head of corporate accountability and transparency at the Centre for Environmental Rights, said Sasol has also not yet disclosed any clear just transition plans to ensure mine rehabilitation, worker support or how communities affected by potential future mine closures and changes will be assisted. 

IN PICS: Environmental defenders descend on Sasol AGM
Picture: Neil McCartney

Source: citizen