27 September 2022
MISA members felt the reality of climate change in the retail motor industry over the past year due to the severe impact of the floods in KwaZulu-Natal on the production of vehicles and components and the import of critical components that led to delays.
Although South Africa is committed to the Paris Climate Agreement, the country remains one of the most carbon-intensive economies in the world, which poses a serious threat to our economic competitiveness.
Martlé Keyter, MISA’s Chief Executive Officer: Operations, says South Africa’s electricity sector contributes 41% of the country’s greenhouse gas emissions, while transport account for 10,8%.
“This year National Arbor Month, celebrated annually from 1-30 September, was hardly mentioned while South Africa suffered from unprecedented weeks of loadshedding. President Cyril Ramaphosa acknowledged the severe impact on the livelihood of all South Africans by saying ‘Eskom is really killing us.’ Unfortunately, this is only words. We have not yet seen our President plant a tree this year,” says Keyter.
The National Arbor Month campaign is aimed at sensitising South Africans about the need to conserve, protect and plant trees for environmental and human related ideals. The idea is to highlight the value and importance of trees and forests to South Africans in general.
The theme for the year 2022 is “Forests and sustainable production and consumption”.
The theme is adopted from the United Nations Collaborative Partnership on Forests.
The 2022 theme aims to highlight key areas of forestry and tree planting, in terms of their role in creating and sustaining healthy and resilient communities, through health benefits that are derived in forests that include nutritious foods, medicine, fresh air, clean water and place for recreation.
“The President identified three key priorities for climate action, including increased production of electric vehicles, reducing carbon emissions at Eskom and fast-tracking plans for a green-hydrogen economy.
“MISA supports all Government’s action plans, but would like to remind all stakeholders that there are no jobs on a dead planet. But the most serious challenge in South Africa is to create sustainable jobs, specifically also green jobs,” says Keyter.
According to research done by C40 Cities, South Africa can create more than 1.8 million green jobs by 2030. Of those jobs, nearly 1.1 million would be across the buildings, power and sustainable transport sectors.
C40 Cities is a global network of Mayors taking urgent action to confront the climate crisis.
According to Keyter South Africa is bound to the Paris Agreement target to limiting global warming to well below 2°C and pursuing efforts to limit it to 1.5°C by 2030 and to have zero greenhouse emissions by 2050.
“MISA believes in tackling issues at ground level and pleads with all its members to plant just one tree this year in the race to stop climate change. As trees grow, they help stop climate change by removing carbon dioxide from the air, storing carbon in the trees and soil, and releasing oxygen into the atmosphere.”
“The MISA-family will tackle climate change together,” says Keyter.