Climate change is a critical issue facing not just South Africa or Africa but the entire world.
The actions that we take, or fail to take, today will have repercussions not just in our lifetime but in the lifetime of every human being that follows us.
The climate change debate has shifted the discussion about protecting our environment and rehabilitating damaged ecosystems from something that was important to a small group of concerned environmentalists to an issue of global importance discussed at high-level government summits.
The Mail & Guardian has a proud tradition of tackling environmental is- sues, from acid mine drainage to covering international climate change negotiations and this, the first edition of Climate Change Leaders, continues that tradition.
The objective of this new flagship publication is to recognise South Africans from across the spectrum of society who are working to make a difference in the field of climate change. The people profiled here include government officials, professionals in business, entrepreneurs who started small businesses and non-governmental organisations, as well as ordinary folk who give of their private time to further a cause they believe in.
They were drawn from public nominations as well as from input given by the Mail & Guardian’s editorial team. Individuals were included in the final list based on their ability to make a difference, with a focus on giving a voice to people who may not be well known or regularly heard.
The individuals profiled in these pages are not the only ones who are making a difference – but they are the ones we have found inspirational. We are sure we have missed important people, not through lack of trying, but because so many people who make a real difference in communities, work in hard to reach areas and do not have a high profile. Our hope is that future is- sues will contain more of these “silent heroes”.
In the meantime, the example set by the individuals featured here will stimulate awareness around the need to work together to ensure that we minimise the effects of climate change locally as well as further afield. – Ben Kelly
The full Climate Change leaders supplement can be found here.
The supplement was made possible by the Mail & Guardian’s advertisers. Individuals were nominated by the public and selected by an editorial panel. Content was sourced independently by the M&G’s supplements editorial team.