The One Million Climate Jobs national conference was held in Cedar Park hotel in Johannesburg from the 7th up to the 9th of November 2013.
250 delegates coming from all corners of South Africa attended this memorable event, these were people from different groups i.e Trade Unionist, social movement organizations, environmentalist, community based organizations (CBO’s), Non-Governmental Organization (NGO’s) etc .
The objective of the conference was to discuss and align work done by various organizations across sectors (i.e mining, energy, transport, water, agriculture etc)to the million climate jobs campaign. The conference also aimed at bringing together a strong national steering committe that will drive and coordinate the work of the campaign nationally.
The event was opened by a keynote input from Nnimmo Bassey, a Nigerian environmentalist, writer, activist, and director of Health of Mother Earth Foundation. Nnimmo has contributed extensively in the field climate and social justice with his writing, his recent publication is called “to cook a Continent: Destructive Extraction and the Climate Crisis in Africa”.
Nnimmo’s input emphasized on the impacts of climate change especially in Africa- he explained that even though Africa has done little to cause global warming but it is a highly exposed region to the impacts of climate change. He explained that Africa’s food security will be compromised by climate change because of anticipated droughts and more floods which will negatively affect agriculture yields.
He then concluded his by talk by suggestion new alternatives which need to be adopted by Africans these include: adopting Zero Waste approaches, Stop land grabbing and respect the rights of small farmers, peasants, indigenous people and women, develop economic strategies that create new kinds of ‘climate jobs’, recover the control of the public sources to finance projects for people and nature, take cars off the roads by building clean public transport infrastructure. Others speakers through out the conference from various organisations i.e Alternative Information Development Centre (secretariat of the One Million Climate Jobs Campaign) Earthlife Africa, Cosatu, and NUMSA concurred with keynote input.
As planned the conference concluded with the new plan of action that was developed and adopted by all organizations present. This is a document that will guide the activities of the One million climate jobs Campaign from 2014 onwards. Also a new national steering committee was elected, this is the committee that will drive and guide the work of the campaign, the committee is made of youth, energetic people who will inject more mobilizing strategies for the growth and success of the campaign.