While many people are still denying the existence of climate change, a group of women are standing up against one of the biggest contributors to the global threat – coal emissions.
WoMin is an organisation that is against destructive resource extraction and is dedicated to stopping the building of more coal power plants on the African continent, and boy do they have more than enough reasons to justify their cause.
According to the organisation over 1200 coal-fired power plants and related infrastructure projects are proposed to be built in 65 countries. If these projects are ever built the world will warm up another six degrees by the end of the century.
But what does that mean exactly?
Well according to Global Warming: Our Future if the planet heats up by one degree, Europe will experience summers so hot dying from heat stress will be normal. As for six degrees... the last time the earths temperature rose by that much 95% of species were wiped out!
While that is a very troubling effect, WoMin is more focused on the immediate effects of excessive fossil fuel emissions, particularly to rural women who feel it the most. It is these women, who collect drinking water, prepare meals and tend to the household who are fighting for their rights.
A women affected by coal mining in her hometown said: “Coal kills. It has destroyed our land, our lives and our community.”
If the rivers run dry, the land becomes infertile and the heat unbearable they may not survive.
WoMin have given these women a platform to share their stories and incite change. They will be holding an exchange in Johannesburg from 19 -24 January where participants from Zambia, Mozambique, Zimbabwe, Botswana and South Africa will come together to share their stories and incite change.
Rather than rely on coal, WoMin proposes that we make use of renewable energy resources such as wind, solar and tidal resources that are abundant in the continent rather than use a fast depleting resource that causes so much pollution.
By working together to stop the expansion of coal-fired power stations, they will be helping their own communities and humanity as a whole.