As countries make ambitious pledges to reach net zero in the next few decades, robust media coverage of government’s actions to achieve their climate goals will be key.
How quickly are countries like India and South Africa shifting away from fossil fuels? To what extent are they expanding protection of carbon sinks such as the ocean and forests? How much are leaders investing in a carbon-neutral economy and how are they ensuring a just transition, making sure not to leave vulnerable and marginalized communities behind?
To help journalists delve deeper into these issues and improve their reporting on this topic, EJN is hosting two journalism training workshops in Kolkata India (from 1st – 3rd February) and Johannesburg, South Africa (from 30th January - 1st February). This in-person media training opportunity is provided through EJN’s media project, Pathways to Net Zero in India and South Africa.
Each workshop will take place over three days and include two days of classroom sessions, led by EJN’s media trainers and thematic experts. Participants will have the opportunity to meet with scientists, researchers and policymakers. They will also go on a field trip – in Johannesburg, to a nearby decommissioned power plant, and in Kolkata, to a coal-mining community that stands to be impacted by India’s decarbonization goals.
In India, the workshop will be led by Joydeep Gupta, South Asia Director of The Third Pole and India coordinator of EJN, joined by speakers Aarti Khosla, Director of Climate Trends, Avijit Ghosh, Principal Scientist at the Central Glass and Ceramic Research Institute, Mayank Agarwal, Researcher on Just Transition, S. Suresh Kumar, Additional Secretary, Ministry of Power, Government of West Bengal, and Pradip Swarnakar, Professor, Indian Institute of Technology (IIT), Kanpur.
In South Africa, Net Zero project coordinator Tunicia Phillips will facilitate the workshop joined by Leonie Joubert, a senior science journalist, Nick Hedley, a financial and energy journalist, Stephen Nicholls, Head of Mitigation at the South African Presidential Climate Commission and Climate Advisor to the National Business Initiative, Blessing Manale, Chief Director of Communications at the Presidential Climate Commission, Patrick Bond, a political economist, political ecologist and Professor of Sociology at the University of Johannesburg, Leeanne Govindsamy at the Center for Enviornmental Rights, and Gaylor Montmasson-Clair, Senior Economist at Trade and Industrial Policy Strategies (TIPS).
The 11 journalists attending the workshop in Kolkata, India, are:
- Navamy Sudhish – The Hindu
- Aparajito Bandyopadhyay – Ganashakti
- Gowthami Subramaniam – 101 Reporters
- Jennifer Kishan - Independent Journalist
- Tanvi Deshpande – IndiaSpend
- Varsha Singh – Down to Earth
- Vivek Gupta – Mongabay India
- Srishti Choudary – CNN News18
- Purnima Sah – 101 Reporters
- Rahul Singh – Samridh Jharkhand
- Rajendran Karolly – Kairali News
The 10 journalists attending the workshop in Johannesburg, South Africa, are:
- Andiswa Matikinca – Oxpeckers
- Bongani Siziba – Mail & Guardian
- Dhashen Moodley – Children's Radio Foundation
- Dianah Chiyangwa – TalkAfrica
- Kim Harrisberg – Thomson Reuters Foundation
- Mokgadi Mashako – Mukrukuru Media
- Munyaradzi Makoni – Isolabantu and SciDev.Net
- Qiniso Mbili – SABC News
- Sakhile Dube – Top Africa News
- Siyabonga Mokoena – Children's Radio Foundation
“The significance and importance of these countries’ transition from coal-based economies to a greener and sustainable model stretches beyond their borders,” says Phillips. “It has tremendous implications for the globe’s race to net zero and serves as a litmus test for other developing countries and emerging markets. Building media capacity to report accurately and with a deeper understanding of both the domestic, regional and global environment will go a long way in informing the public and the communities most affected.”
“Journalists want to report on the energy transition, especially a just energy transition, and what net zero means in practical terms in the immediate future,” adds Gupta. “Workshops where they have a chance to interact with experts and relevant communities are the best ways for them to augment their information base and their understanding.”
EJN thanks the European Climate Foundation for their funding support.
Look out for stories from the participants, which will be republished on the EJN website in upcoming months.
Banner image: This media training in Johannesburg will be EJN’s first project in South Africa / Credit: Clodagh Da Paixao via Unsplash.