Coal has been the key energy source for the industrial revolution, providing amenities that most of us take for granted today—including electricity, new materials (steel, plastics, cement and fertilizers), fast transportation, and advanced communications. But now the coin has flipped and we are trying to stop the use of coal to save our future.
While coal burning is on the decline in the US and Europe, it continues to be used in greater quantities in India, South Africa, China, as these countries have large coal reserves of their own.
The use of coal has many negative social and environmental impacts. Coal mining has leached hazardous chemicals into water sources and destroyed forests and habitats. Coal use has severely degraded air quality and human health because of high particulate nitrous and sulfur dioxide (SO2) emissions, among other toxins. In South Africa, coal use was critical to keeping apartheid policies alive despite international sanctions. While coal burning is on the decline in the US and Europe, it continues to be used in greater quantities in India, South Africa, China, as these countries have large coal reserves of their own.
There is growing discontent amongst communities who oppose coal burning and mining, especially in India and South Africa. Most of these coal battles have centered around local pollution and rights issues. Threats of climate change due to carbon emissions have changed the battlefield. Burning coal in one country threatens the survival of others globally. Mitigating climate change will require deep reductions in global CO2 emissions, especially from coal use, and obligates emerging economies to reduce their consumption.
In my experience working on coal campaigns in India and South Africa, one of the most remarkable aspects of the struggle against coal use is the resilience of local communities and their desire to protect their lands, water, air, and health at any cost. Whether it is Eskom coal project in South Africa or Tata Mundra in India, the issues and challenges are very similar. Many times local communities, labor unions, faith groups and civil society groups have provided support to each other on coal-related campaigns.
We must look beyond our national boundaries not only to collaborate on campaigns, but also to learn from each others’ experiences and join forces against “bad” investments in coal.
South African groups have much to learn from—and many opportunities to collaborate with—their Indian counterparts, particularly around the use of legal instruments to fight against coal mining and coal power plants. There is a history of strong environmental jurisprudence in India and it has become an integral part of campaign strategy on coal. In contrast, the legal framework is still developing in South Africa, and the potential (and usefulness) of legal strategy for challenging coal projects is yet to be understood.
The need for a multi-country legal or paralegal strategy has become even more critical with the emerging interest and investment of various Indian coal companies in South Africa and other parts of Africa. For instance, Jindal Steel and Power Limited (an Indian company) has operations in Mozambique, Madagascar, Zambia, Tanzania and South Africa. In Mozambique, JSPL is one of the only three companies to have mining rights in the coal rich Moatize region. Even Coal India Limited has established an exclusively owned subsidiary, “Coal India Africana Limitada”(CIAL), in Mozambique and has been granted a prospecting license for two geological coal blocks by the Government of Mozambique.
Fighting coal projects in our own backyards will not be enough to deal with the current and future challenges posed by coal investments from many such “Southern Coal Companies”. Therefore, we must look beyond our national boundaries not only to collaborate on campaigns, but also to learn from each others’ experiences and join forces against “bad” investments in coal.
Sunita Dubey works for Vasudha Foundation in India and groundwork in South Africa. Her areas of expertise are Environmental Governance, International Climate and Environmental Policy in Developing Economies. She has written scientific briefs for environmental cases in the Supreme Court of India, and assisted environmental lawyers on cases regarding hazardous waste, pesticides, coal mining, and forest conservation.
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Last updated January 30, 2013.
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Last updated: May 25, 2018
This Policy describes our privacy practices and sets out your obligations and ours with respect to your use of the Site and the Forum. This Policy applies only to the Site and the Forum and does not necessarily apply to our offline collection of information.
Namati may collect and retain two types of information about Site and Forum visitors: (i) personal information that individual visitors voluntarily provide when interacting on the Site or Forum or on certain other occasions (such as via forms or in emails); and (ii) tracking data, which is data that is automatically collected from every Site and Forum visitor as they use and browse the site.
We may, from time to time, store and archive the information you submit to or through the Site and Forum. The information that we gather may include your name, title, and address, telephone number, email address, credit card number or other elements of personal information. In addition, if you contact us, we may keep a record of your correspondence, including any information contained therein.
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We retain the right to transfer or assign all information pursuant to a merger, purchase or other transaction relating to Namati or our assets.
The current list of third-party service providers we use include:
Reduces spam posts on the Forum.
Privacy notice: https://automattic.com/privacy/
Amazon Web Services
Stores backups for the Site and the Forum.
Privacy notice: https://aws.amazon.com/privacy/
Hosts and stores backups for the Forum.
Privacy notice: https://www.digitalocean.com/legal/privacy/
Compiles visitor statistics on the Site and Forum. You can opt out of Google Analytics using a browser extension.
Privacy notice: https://www.google.com/analytics/terms/
Online service for organizing and hosting webinars.
Privacy notice: https://www.logmeininc.com/legal/privacy
Provides mailing list and mail server services for sending newsletters, Forum notifications, and weekly email summaries.
Privacy notice: https://mailchimp.com/legal/privacy/
Online service providing contact management system.
Privacy notice: https://www.salesforce.com/company/privacy/
Provides cloud servers for hosting the Site.
Privacy notice: https://wpengine.com/legal/privacy/
Online service to automate adding member data to Salesforce.
Privacy notice: https://zapier.com/privacy/
Personal information you submit via your member account, other than information provided or content posted by you to public areas of the Site as described below, is deleted from Namati’s records following the deletion of your account. However, such information may continue to be retained by third-party service providers to which it has been disclosed for one of the reasons listed above.
Your Information is stored on Digital Ocean servers in New York, USA.
We take reasonable precautions to protect your information from loss, misuse or alteration. You should recognize, however, that there is no such thing as “perfect security” on the Internet, and we cannot guarantee the security of your information. In addition, because Internet communications are unsecure, it is also possible that the information you supply to us or your access of any information via the Site will be intercepted during transmission. We are not liable for any breach of our systems or interception of our transmission, and we hereby fully disclaim, to the fullest extent possible under law, any liability associated with any claim relating to a breach of security, data or information.
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The Forum uses data about your posts and other activity to make automated decisions about whether your posts are spam.
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From time to time, we may email users of the Site or the Forum information regarding important developments affecting Namati and/or the Global Grassroots Justice Network. We may also email users on occasion regarding the Site or the Forum. Such emails may be sent to users of the Site or Forum even if they have not requested to receive any communication from us.
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Because Namati is concerned about the privacy protection of children who access the Internet, we comply with the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA). Accordingly, the Site and Forum are not intended for use by anyone under the age of 13, and we do not knowingly collect information from anyone under 13 years of age without the consent of a parent or guardian.
We reserve the right to disclose any information to comply with any law, regulation, decree, judgment, order, subpoena or any other governmental order (“Order”) without any obligation to contest or verify the accuracy of such Order.
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The section titles in this Policy are for convenience only and have no legal or contractual effect.
The Site, the Forum, and any third party services they use, may be subject to additional terms and conditions regarding privacy and use of information. Your use of the Site and the Forum is subject to those terms and conditions, which are incorporated into this Policy by reference. In the event of an inconsistency between this Policy and any additional posted conditions, the provisions of the additional conditions shall control.
We may need to change the Policy from time to time in order to address new issues and to reflect changes on the Site or in the law. We reserve the right to revise or make any changes to the Policy, and your continued use of the Site subsequent to any changes to this Policy will mean that you agree to and accept such changes. You can tell if the Policy has been updated by checking the last revised date posted on the top of this page.
You can access, remove, update or correct your information in your Site profile and your Forum profile.
You can also access, remove, update or correct your information, and raise any questions or concerns regarding the Site or the Policy, by emailing email@example.com, or mailing:
Namati Data Protection Officer
1616 P Street NW, Suite 101
Washington, DC 20036, USA
If you live in a country which has adopted the General Data Protection Regulation (EU; 2016/679), you have a right to lodge a complaint with your relevant supervisory authority about this policy and its application.
The Policy was updated in May 2018 to comply with the General Data Protection Regulations.