As the world went into unprecedented lockdown in February last year, scientists scrambled to determine what the impact of the vastly reduced traffic volumes, industrial activity, and electricity consumption would be on greenhouse gas emissions. But although COVID-19 drove down the carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions of Africa’s worst polluter – South African power utility Eskom – this will prove temporary. And, as a looming crisis in European power production shows, the much-hailed falling costs of renewables disguises the uncomfortable facts that hidden costs are passed on to consumers, while the need to retain baseload legacy power-generation means coal will remain king in emerging economies like South Africa, the world’s twelfth-worst greenhouse gas emitter, for decades to come.  

This content is restricted

Add To Cart

Michael Schmidt is a veteran investigative journalist, best-selling non-fiction author, and human rights activist with more than three decades’ experience, having worked in 47 countries on six continents. He is official rapporteur of the international Safe Havens arts rights justice summit, and convenor of the Creative African Defensive Network (CADENET).