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Saliem Fakir

Saliem Fakir

Fakir is interim executive director of the African Climate Foundation –

Africa can decarbonise faster than the rest of the world

3rd June 2022 It is oxymoronic to talk of Africa decarbonising – with the exception of South Africa and a few other countries, the continent has the lowest per capita carbon footprint. A recent analytical piece published in the Guardian Weekly on May 20 noted that the pledges being made by Big Oil and Gas are... 

The basis for good judgment: can we really know?

6th May 2022 Over the past decade, I have been engaged in an inquiry into the nature of judgment, given that I have had the privilege of setting up new entities and programmes over the course of my two-decade career. I will attempt to capture some thoughts from these experiences in this column as time goes by. 

Ukraine and the geopolitics of energy

8th April 2022 “It takes two mirrors for the correct image of one’s self” (Diary of Patricia Highsmith, 1968). By now we are all aware of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and what has happened to our world.  Several commentators have proposed that the reason for the invasion was the rapid decline in international... 

Observations on Africa’s climate and development nexus

11th March 2022 It has always been maintained and will continue to be maintained that the route to curing the climate challenge in Africa is to define a new pathway for development. That pathway has to be aligned towards a industrialisation strategy that is decarbonised and ushers in a new modernity. The path... 

A significant year for climate in South Africa

11th February 2022 The year 2021 should be remembered as a turning point for climate change policy and diplomacy in South Africa. It is hard to recall a time when so many players felt that the game had been lifted and some optimism infused.   It is a struggle to garner the energy for optimism, given the... 

The Just Energy Transition Transaction in South Africa

21st January 2022 Sometimes the ‘impossible’ seems far-fetched and unrealistic, but it can be on the cusp of happening, even if it still has some journey to cover. This is illustrated by the history of the Just Energy Transition Transaction (JETT), which has many dimensions and offers many lessons. I will share... 

Some takeaways from COP26

3rd December 2021 We are in what we may call slow burn and incremental shock of climate vulnerability – recent events tell a story of increased frequency of extreme weather patterns, yet the world struggles to engage in global collective action that is beyond pledges and symbolic gestures. We cannot be oblivious... 

New economic frontier for climate change action

26th November 2021 Last year, marked a tectonic shift in the climate change arena, and this was spurred on by the recognition by the European Union (EU) that no crisis should be spoilt as Europe moved to change the direction of the world by hard-wiring deeper carbon cuts as part of the bloc’s Covid-19 recovery... 

Organising for climate change: the ‘two cultures’ problem

22nd October 2021 Ulrich Beck wrote: “One can possess wealth but one can be afflicted by risks; they are, so to speak, ascribed by civilisation . . . Risk society is a catastrophic society” (Risk Society: Towards A New Modernity). The physicist CP Snow once wrote a famous essay titled The Two Cultures, which... 

The need for grit – industrialism in Africa

10th September 2021 Extractive industries offer no long-term solution for countries that continue to rely on their natural resources as levers for an economic boost; when a commodity boom end, the countries will slide back into debt and economic doldrums. There is need for diversification. As the Covid-19 pandemic... 

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