Two South Africans have been named on the Climate 100 list for their work in raising awareness within South Africa for climate policy change.


London, United Kingdom – Two South Africans have been honoured on a list of the world’s 100 most influential people in climate policy. They are joined by heavyweights like David Attenborough and Greta Thunberg, the 16-year-old climate activist from Sweden who, within months, went from protesting outside parliament to addressing the UN Climate Change Conference.

The list was created by Apolitical, a peer-to-peer learning platform for governments that puts the best solutions at the fingertips of public servants, wherever they are in the world. The platform is used by public servants and policymakers in more than 160 countries to connect and to find original and curated content about what’s working in policymaking around the world.

Mark New, the director of the African Climate & Development Initiative at the University of Cape Town, and Debra Roberts, the director and founder of the Environmental Planning and Climate Protection Department of eThekwini Municipality in South Africa have been included on the list.

Mark New was added to the Academia and Advocacy section of the list, and Debra Roberts was added to the International and Non-governmental Organisations section of the list.

Mark New is the director of the African Climate & Development Initiative, a research initiative at the University of Cape Town, and professor of international development at the University of East Anglia in the UK. His research career spans over 20 years, with a focus on detecting climate trends, climate modelling and assessing the impact of failed climate mitigation policy. Mark edits the journal Environmental Research Letters and serves on the boards of the South Africa Global Change Science Committee and the Africa Future Earth Science Committee.

Debra Roberts is the director and founder of the Environmental Planning and Climate Protection Department of eThekwini Municipality in South Africa, where she is responsible for directing their Climate Protection Programme. She was recently awarded the African Climate Research Award for pioneering projects that have made Durban a world leader in climate change adaptation. For instance, she was instrumental in the Durban Adaptation Charter for Local Governments, a partnership deal to advance local government strategies against climate change, which was signed by more than 100 cities around the world in 2011.

“​The need to reduce greenhouse gas emissions is urgent. 174 countries and the EU agreed to act at the Paris Agreements. At Apolitical, we highlight the good work that government does and help it to become even better,”​ said Lisa Witter, Apolitical’s Executive Chairman. ​

“By showcasing these climate policy leaders, we hope to encourage more collaboration and exchange to accelerate the effective response to the global climate threat.​”

It is great to see South Africans being honoured for their work in protecting the environment and working to educate the government on policies that will benefit everyone.

Sources: Supplied
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Tyler Leigh Vivier is a writer for Good Things Guy.

Her passion is to spread good news across South Africa with a big focus on environmental issues, animal welfare and social upliftment. Outside of Good Things Guy, she is an avid reader and lover of tea.

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