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Robyn Hugo

Robyn Hugo

Director: Climate Change Engagement

Robyn joined Just Share in September 2020. Prior to this, she worked at the Centre for Environmental Rights (CER) for nine years. At the CER, Robyn was the head of its Pollution & Climate Change programme, which predominantly works in a collaborative project called the Life After Coal (LAC) Campaign – with partners groundWork and Earthlife Africa – to challenge the exploitation of coal for electricity. Robyn’s team was responsible for the first climate change litigation in Africa, and for launching the landmark “Deadly Air” constitutional litigation. She also ran the litigation for South Africa’s leading case on access to environmental information.

As part of LAC’s aims to resist investment in new coal developments, and with other NGOs, Robyn was a key member of a team that engaged with financial institutions intending to fund new coal projects in South Africa. These engagements aimed to alert banks to the need to comply with their own climate-related policies and to the risks and implications of lending to these proposed projects. Subsequently, each of the banks agreed not to fund the coal projects.  Robyn has similarly engaged with a number of institutional investors regarding the inadequate disclosures of various companies’ environmental and climate impacts – and the risks of such impacts – and to motivate for greater and better-informed interrogation by investors of companies’ claims.  At the CER, Robyn also worked with groundwork, the South Durban Community Environmental Alliance, the Vaal Environmental Justice Alliance, and the Highveld Environmental Justice Network (who all support several community-based organisations) to promote environmental justice, ensure compliance with environmental laws, and strengthen civil society participation in decisions on industrial pollution, waste, and land use.

Robyn worked at commercial law firm Bowmans for seven years, during which time she specialised in employment and public law. She holds a BA LLB from Stellenbosch University, and an LLM in Environmental Law from the University of Cape Town.

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