12th April 2019

GOOD has a strong commitment to the environment and to ensuring a healthy environment for all South Africans.

Statement by Mark Rountree, National Policy Officer for GOOD

During an SABC debate on the 11th April 2019, it was suggested that no political parties have a strong environmental policy.

GOOD wishes to dispute this.  The GOOD plan to FIXSA (www.forgood.org.za) is based on four key principles: spatial, social, economic and environmental justice.

Working for environmental justice is a key pillar of GOOD Policy

Not only does this include protecting animal and environmental rights

The GOOD Plan to FIXSA confirms that “climate change is real and is impacting our economy, food security and the environment. None of us can escape the consequences of rising temperatures and changing weather patterns. It is the poor and vulnerable citizens in developing countries who are most impacted by climate change.

GOOD will tackle climate change, uphold animal and environmental rights, help cities to implement emissions and waste reduction plans, ensure appropriate mitigation and adaptation measures and accelerate national emissions reductions including the move to cheaper, renewable energy sources.”

GOOD was the only party that endorsed the youth Climate Strike, a global movement of young people calling for accelerated action to tackle climate change.

Environmental Justice also relates to a healthy environment for its own sake, as well as for all South Africans.

GOOD is committed to improving the lives of all South Africans. With regards to improving the health and environment of our citizens, smoking and air pollution are areas we have already expressed specific concerns on.

HEALTHY ENVIRONMENT: GOOD is committed to increasing cleaner, renewable solar and wind energy.  The country’s dirty coal stations result in more than 2,200 air pollution related deaths every year.  An accelerated switch to cleaner, cheaper renewable energy will help to reduce electricity costs as well as the impact of coal on our environment and on the health of our citizens.

SMOKING: GOOD was one of just two political parties who earlier this year came out in full support of proposed amendments to tobacco legislation in South Africa.  The proposed amendments will reduce secondary smoking, reduce access of cigarettes to children and standardize packaging, something that in other countries saw the incidence of smoking decline dramatically.

Too many young people – one in five South Africans, and also 1 in 5 teenagers – are smoking. Even worse is that for children under 10 years of age, more than 1 in 20 have already smoked their first cigarette.

Illnesses caused by the tobacco-related illnesses like lung cancer, emphysema, asthma and bronchitis cost South Africa almost R60 billion per year. 

This cost is more than was allocated to fund higher education in 2018, or nearly three times what the increase in VAT to 15% raised for government. 

For more information please see:

https://www.iol.co.za/news/opinion/elections2019-parties-are-putting-your-vote-not-your-health-first-19795484

https://static1.squarespace.com/static/5c06713baf209635b082d99c/t/5c9cb12b419202651255386f/1553772896033/Climate.pdf

https://www.iol.co.za/business-report/economy/good-supports-sa-youths-call-to-acknowledge-climate-emergency-19900458

ends…

 

Mark Rountree

markr@forgood.org.za

082 880 4393

Good