Counting Down – 24 Days to the Start of the Last Desert Race in Antarctica

Stop Eskom’s Pollution Now!

Wednesday, 8 October 2014

Greetings from Nairobi.

Today’s blog covers an issue of national importance – air pollution caused by Eskom’s coal-fired power stations – and attempts by Greenpeace Africa to stop Eskom from continuing to break the law and harming the health of many communities throughout South Africa.

Eskom is applying for long-term postponements for two-thirds of its coal-fired power stations from complying with the Minimum Emission Standards which form part of the National Air Quality Act. The standards are scheduled to come into effect in 2015.

According to the law, polluters such as Eskom are allowed to apply for postponements like these, but only if they can prove that their level of pollution does not negatively impact on people or the environment. Eskom argues that it will cost too much to comply, the price of electricity will have to be increased, and that people’s health is not significantly harmed by its coal fired power stations.

However, a Greenpeace study shows that if Eskom does not comply with the standards, it could cause 20 000 premature deaths. In addition, I encourage you to read “Poisoned People”, which highlight the devastating impact of coal power on various communities in South Africa.

After submitting its first application in 2013, Eskom was requested to submit additional information by the Department of Environmental Affairs. Eskom has recently made this submission and the decision on its application is expected any day now.

Greenpeace Africa is therefore appealing to South Africans to tell the National Air Quality Officer, Dr Thuli Mdluli, to carefully review Eskom’s application, and to deny it a free pollution ticket.

More than 23 000 have already signed the Greenpeace Africa petition, and you can help by adding your name and raise awareness about this issue by using any of the following links and information:

If Eskom’s application is granted, vital pollution-preventing technology will not be fitted to coal plants, and people living around them will continue to pay the costs.

No corporation should be above the law, not even Eskom.

The countdown to Antarctica continues…

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I’m excited about the race in Antarctica and the challenge of raising R250 000 for a Greenpeace Africa solar energy project, and encourage you to support my efforts and the work of Greenpeace Africa!

Please make a donation and encourage others to do the same.

“Together we can make a difference!”

Follow updates about my preparations for The Last Desert Race, and work with Greenpeace Africa, on Facebook and Twitter, my daily blog, and via Greenpeace Africa’s  various online platforms.

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About David Barnard

This blog site covers my runs through the deserts of the world in support of social causes and campaigns dedicated to development issues in Africa. My next run is the 250km Big Red Run in Australia from 24-29 June 2017 in support of the Hippo Water Roller.
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