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Saliem Fakir

Saliem Fakir

Fakir is the head of the Living Planet Unit at the World Wildlife Fund South Africa. The unit's work is focused on identifying ways to manage a transition to a low-carbon economy.

Rigging the nuclear outcome?

15th December 2017 At the time of writing, it appeared nuclear would be ramped through before the African National Congress elective conference, which starts on December 16. New Energy Minister David Mahlobo says we need nuclear. There have been a lot of platitudes about jobs and industrialisation, and that nuclear... 

Inside the green economy

10th November 2017 It is often assumed that the green economy only relates to a specific type of technology or shifts in energy demand. The notion of the green economy has been in existence in South Africa for a long time. Conceptually, the green economy notion gained prominence in South Africa after 2007 and many... 

New era of disruption

20th October 2017 Perhaps the recent multiple attacks of extreme weather – hurricanes Harvey, Irma and Maria – do not only tell us that fierce weather is the new normal, but changes in weather, together with other global shifts and crises, are forcing us to acknowledge that we are moving into an era of greater... 

Taking the green out of economy

22nd September 2017 There is only one economy, not two. The challenge all societies face today is leaving behind the legacy of an old system. How do we embark on a systems change – a shift from System A to System B? Fundamentally, it is a shift in production and consumption systems. How do we interlink the two to... 

Enviro rights entail more than just the environment

18th August 2017 It is important to review where we have come from over the past 20 years and how much has been achieved in that time. South Africa's Constitution makes provision for environmental protection in its Bill of Rights. This follows a long history of environmental issues not having been treated with... 

Decolonising the green economy

4th August 2017 On June 13, a good agent provocateur, former National Planning Commission member Mike Muller, proposed in a panel discussion at a Trade and Industrial Policy Strategies (TIPS) conference on sustainable growth and industrialisation that we should decolonise the idea of the green economy. Muller... 

Is science losing its authority?

16th June 2017 Scientists have, for a long time, been held in high esteem. Yet scientist struggle to effectively mediate evidenced-based outcomes in highly politicised and contested public policy issues, such as those concerning climate science or whether cellphone cause cancer. The Internet is flattening... 

New vision needed for conservation

26th May 2017 A friend of mine, Mark Halle, argues that the world of conservation is going nowhere and that a new vision is needed to take it out of its maelstrom. I agree and often solutions are not found in defensive postures but in the offensive realm. Three things will determine the future of conservation... 

Political entrepreneurship in the energy sector

5th May 2017 The expediency for rent-seeking that comes with large capital infrastructure projects is always lurking behind the scenes. The extent to which long fingers can grab as much as possible is largely dependent on procurement design and the ability to complete projects on budget. The more the cost... 

What can we tell of Eskom’s future from the Denton report?

3rd March 2017 The debate on the independent power producer (IPP) programme can serve as a useful distraction, and power utility Eskom is exploiting it to the full. The problem is not the IPPs, and they never will be. IPPs are a scapegoat to obfuscate the many long-term multiple challenges Eskom faces, which it... 

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