Coal industry is ‘delusional’, SA climate change official says

‘Our view is the coal market is going to drop off radically in the 2030s and particularly after 2035’ – Crispian Olver.
Image: Asim Hafeez/Bloomberg

The executive director of South Africa’s Presidential Commission on Climate Change called the country’s coal industry “delusional” on Wednesday, saying the market for the fossil fuel is going to dwindle rapidly in the next decade.

South Africa, which gets most of its electricity from coal-fired power plants, is grappling with rolling blackouts, while coal miners are exporting more of their product to take advantage of sky-high prices.

“The industry is delusional, and I’m really struggling to get a sober conversation with the industry,” Crispian Olver said at a conference on coal and the energy transition in Johannesburg.

“Our view is the coal market is going to drop off radically in the 2030s and particularly after 2035,” he said during a panel discussion with executives from coal miners Seriti Resources and Menar Resources.

South African President Cyril Ramaphosa on Monday made fresh pledges to tackle the country’s worst-ever power crisis, promising to expand power generation, slash red tape and boost renewable energy procurement.

Read:
At last: CR throws the kitchen sink at load shedding
Ramaphosa’s energy interventions get the nod from industry heavyweights

“The transition is coming, but it’s going to be impossible to have a conversation with the industry if we can’t get past the basic denialism,” Olver said.

Seriti Resources CEO Mike Teke said “we are not climate deniers”, and that he had met with Olver. Seriti, one of Eskom’s biggest coal suppliers, is currently exporting “a lot of” coal too, Teke said, without providing details.

Menar Resources managing director Vuslat Bayoglu said renewable energy was not a silver bullet, and that it was up to Eskom, rather than coal miners, to minimise carbon emissions. Menar has also been trying to meet surging demand for coal from Europe.

Olver said the commission wanted to work with the coal industry to manage a “just transition” that would ensure alternative jobs are created in coal-dependent areas such as mining hub Mpumalanga.

Increased use of coal was the main factor driving up energy-related carbon dioxide emissions by over 2 billion tonnes in 2021, its largest ever annual rise in absolute terms, according to the International Energy Agency.

COMMENTS   1

You must be signed in and an Insider Gold subscriber to comment.

SUBSCRIBE NOW SIGN IN

if we can do our electricity cheaper (and cleaner) and export coal at great prices – all good as far as I am concerned. Maybe then the mines can rebuild the roads they destroyed.

It is not our job to save the world from coal, we have to save our jobs

End of comments.

LATEST CURRENCIES  

USD / ZAR
GBP / ZAR
EUR / ZAR
BTC / USD

SEARCH COMPANIES
Enter company name or share code:

ECONOMIC DATA  

  CPIThe Consumer Price Index (CPI) measures monthly changes in prices for a range of consumer products Jul 2022 7.40%
  CPI ex OERThe Consumer Price Index excluding Owners’ Equivalent Rent (CPI ex OER) measures monthly changes in prices for a range of consumer products excluding Owners’ equivalent rent that measures changes in the cost of owner-occupied housing Jul 2022 8.10%
  RepoThe rate at which the Reserve Bank lends money to the country’s commercial banks and set by the Reserve Bank’s Monetary Policy Committee. Aug 2022 5.50%
  Prime lendingThe Prime Lending Rate is the rate of interest that commercial banks will charge their clients when issuing a loan (home loan or vehicle finance) Aug 2022 9.00%

Instrument Details  

You do not have any portfolios, please create one here.
You do not have an alert portfolio, please create one here.
INSIDER SUBSCRIPTION APP VIDEOS RADIO / LISTEN LIVE SHOP OFFERS WEBINARS NEWSLETTERS TRENDING

Follow us:

Search Articles:
Click a Company: