Fossil fuel development, in particular oil and gas, promised vast riches in the past. Today it is exposing fossil fuel producers and their creditors to a massive stranded asset risk. Technological disruption with the rapid cost-reduction of renewable energy and storage technologies, in conjunction with the inevitability of increased climate action, are at the root of unprecedented uncertainties over the future of the sector.
South Africa’s economy, which was already in a precarious state before Covid-2019, has been tipped into full blown crisis by the pandemic. Gross national government debt is expected to be upwards of 86% within two years. Eskom, which is the country’s state-owned monopolistic and vertically integrated electricity utility, is a key driver of this escalating debt profile and lies at the heart of the economy’s structural challenges.
The present study, authored by scientists from different backgrounds, makes the eloquent case for such a reflection, pause, and reassessment. The publication is recommended to any reader concerned about our oceans' future.