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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.

Will the SDGs help us rewire the economy?

29th June 2018 The Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) are the new mantra, and everybody is trying to figure out the best way to leverage them; the question is whether to follow the same old path or to beat a new one.   If the underlying premises of an economic system are the same, what can SDGs really solve?... 

The Just Transition debate in South Africa

18th May 2018 South Africa is the only country that explicitly includes in its Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs) a mention of the Just Transition – this is as far as I know.   The issue of a just transition raised its head recently when the National Union of Metalworkers South Africa (Numsa) and a... 

Tackling shipping sector’s carbon emissions

27th April 2018 Shipping emissions is an area that has not fallen under the rubric of United Nations Framework for Climate Change (UNFCCC). The shipping industry has, by and large, avoided scrutiny of its own contribution to climate change. Given that the shipping industry’s infrastructure will be exposed to the... 

What we must undo in post-Zuma era

23rd March 2018 During Jacob Zuma’s Presidency, South African had to contend with racial parochialism, State inaptitude and a gloomy economy. Dystopia became the only legacy the former President would bequath the present and future generations. Gramsci once noted: 'The State was only an outer ditch behind which... 

Tackling inequality in South Africa – the great escape

23rd February 2018 There have been clarion calls to clean up corruption in South Africa, but the greater challenge will be clawing back the effects of structural poverty. Influential voices from business have suddenly become activists in relation to corruption but seemingly not activist enough on inequality. Growth... 

Will Ramaphosa be a transformational leader or preserve the status quo?

2nd February 2018 The election in December of Cyril Ramaphosa (CR) as African National Congress (ANC) president has brought a sigh of relief to many South Africans. There is both euphoria and trepidation. The sigh of relief is no indication that mass support for the ANC will be forthcoming any time soon. Jacob... 

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... 

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