The Climate Challenge 2009
By Sonja van der Waldt
Posted on 03 December 2009
From left to right: Daniel Robinson (Project 90 by 2030), Clifford Nxomani (Project 90 by 2030 steering committee), Mathew van Lierop (Project 90 by 2030), Sandisiwe Vilakazi (Indalo Yethu), Prof Robin Crewe (Vice-Principal of the University of Pretoria) and Prof Derick de Jongh (Centre for Responsible Leadership, University of Pretoria
Well-known sustainability expert and editor of 'Bending the Curve', Robert Zipplies, in partnership with Project 90 by 2030, is undertook an epic journey on an electric bicycle by cycling from Cape Town to Durban via Johannesburg and Pretoria between 6 November and 5 December 2009.
The project formed part of Zipplies’ personal way to wave a red flag about the critical need for swift action in response to climate change in South Africa. Robert and Project 90 by 2030 initiated the Climate Challenge 2009 in order to raise awareness of what is known about climate change and the need for South Africans to actively participate in reducing carbon emissions. “We are running out of time to make the changes that are required by science,” says Zipplies.
Robert gave public talks in 12 cities along the route and project team members hosted information sessions at schools and universities along the way to encourage scholars and communities to do more to mitigate and adapt to climate change. Robert gave a presentation at the University of Pretoria on Saturday 28 November.
Robert rode an eZee electric bicycle, which looks very similar to a conventional bicycle, but is fitted with an electric motor and battery. The motor augments the human effort and these bicycles offer a convenient means of urban transport. Robert chose an electric bicycle to raise awareness of this form of transport, which arguably is the most eco-friendly form of semi-motorized transport. The greenhouse gas emissions of travelling by e-bike are about 30 times less than travelling by small car. The electric bicycle was on display during his visit to UP.
As part of the Challenge, a Climate Change Pledge has been launched which requests communities to sign the pledge which encourages a commitment to taking greater action to tackle climate change. The commitment with the list of signatures will be handed to the State President at a later stage.
For more information on the Climate Challenge 2009 and to sign the Pledge please visit www.90x2030.org.za/climatechallenge.