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Saliem Fakir

Saliem Fakir

Fakir is interim executive director of the African Climate Foundation –

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... 

Of insurrection, malls and hunger

27th August 2021 We have been made to believe the narrative that things were under control When, in July, looting and rioting broke out in KwaZulu-Natal and parts of Gauteng, we were told that the country was in the throes of an insurrection. However, politicians, the police and the army tried to convince... 

Intersectional issues in renewables: the race debate in the energy sector

16th July 2021 We must guard against the idea that green means socially responsible and equitable. Green and optimum social outcomes are not synonymous; therefore, a debate about intersectional issues relating to gender, race, inequality and justice is warranted. Green transitions can preserve the old system of... 

The private versus the public: living within the hierarchical system

18th June 2021 Societies that are most vulnerable to economic piracy need countervailing forces to protect them from those who deliberately pursue actions intended to maximise their own gain at the expense of the welfare of us all. This point is often not considered by free marketeers, given that they are... 

Gas-exporting countries in Africa and the problem of a displacement equivalent

14th May 2021 The public discourse around gas is intensifying. Climate activists have now made gas – which has been touted as being better than coal and a necessary transitional fuel –  the target of their next big effort against a fossil fuel. Predictions are that demand for gas will be healthy, but the pace... 

Climate finance and the political economy of finance

9th April 2021 In his book, Feline Philosophy, which is about what cats can teach humans, John Gray points us to a few lessons. One of these is pertinent to what I discuss in this article: beware of anyone who offers to make you happy. Here, Gray warns that what others promise you as heaven on earth is unlikely... 

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