Climate change is “the defining development challenge of our time,” and Africa, as a continent, is the most vulnerable to its consequences, according to the African Union (2015) and the United Nations (UN Environment, 2019). Fortunately, South Arica is one of only six African countries to rank among the 100 least-vulnerable, best-prepared countries in the world to cope with climate change: Mauritius (at No. 50) followed by Morocco, South Africa, Tunisia, the Seychelles, and Botswana. Unfortunately, the graphical representation below (showing the % of respondents who are climate change literate, meaning they have heard of climate change but also associate it with negative changes in weather patterns and know that human activity plays a part in causing it) shows that South Africa lags behind other African countries ito its ‘climate change literacy’.




Source: Afrobarometer Policy Paper No. 60 | August 2019| p. 17

World Environment Day on 5 June 2022 will focus on the need to live sustainably in harmony with nature, and our possibilities for shifting to a greener lifestyle through both policies and individual choices. “Only One Earth” was the motto for the 1972 Stockholm Conference, the very first conference that focused on the harmful effects of human activity on the environment. It is a global event which celebrates

and encourages action on the climate crisis.

NAPTOSA is acutely aware that, as a country, in particular, and a global village in general, we are running out of time to save our planet. Human activity is using up the equivalent of 1.6 Earths to maintain our current way of life – and nature simply

cannot keep up with our demands.

CO2 emissions will need to halve by 2030, to avoid temperature rises of 2.7C and higher by the end of the century.

The Federation of Unions of South Africa (FEDUSA), with its 515 000 members, to which NAPTOSA is affiliated, formalised its policy on climate change in October 2021. NAPTOSA was a proud contributor to the policy. To this end FEDUSA published four sector specific documents for its members as a starting point in discussions to reach a consensus position on climate change. Issues in Electricity, Issues in Mining, Issues in Transport, Issues in Water all set out the sector’s value chain, the impact on the environment, issues around health, jobs and a just transition.

NAPTOSA joins South Africa and the global community in celebrating World Environment Day. NAPTOSA wishes to acknowledge World Environmental Day with a call to its members to pause and to reflect on your own environmental footprint and, where possible, to make changes. Individual responsibility becomes a collective call to all of us to look at practical ways to reduce our carbon footprint. Professional activists in education are also environmental activists. Let it be said that

we lead by example on climate change.