The Centre for Civil Society based within the School of Built Environment and Development studies invites you to the seminar False Solutions to Climate and Energy Crises by Baruti Amisi, Gerard Boyce and Patrick Bond.
Date: Thursday 26 February 2015
Time: 12h30 – 15h00 (new time – extended for more analysis)
Venue: CCS Seminar Room 602, 6th Floor, MTB Tower, Howard College

South African political leaders, energy policy elites and big mining and smelting corporations appear desperate to acquire two massive new energy sources: nuclear and hydro-power. In each case, claims are regularly made as to their safety, reliability and low-emissions features. For nuclear energy, the R1 trillion estimated cost, the secretive acquisition agreements (including no supplier liability in the case of nuclear accident) and more recently-revealed nuclear accidents – a R12.5 billion repair incident at South Africa’s Koeberg and another radioactive water leak at Fukushima – are causing social anxiety. But so far unexplored is the geopolitical role that nuclear energy appears likely to play in the region. Likewise, the regional implications of the world’s biggest dam – the 42 000 MegaWatt Inga on the Congo River – are immense. So too are the dam’s adverse implications for the Democratic Republic of the Congo’s severe Resource Curse. Government repeatedly claims that together, nuclear and mega-hydro can supply nearly 20 000 MegaWatts – two thirds of South Africa’s current consumption – to South Africa by around 2025, carbon-free. The workshop will assess the nature of these claims, especially debating evidence that nuclear and mega-hydro energy are ‘false solutions’ in many regards. At a time South Africa stands extremely exposed on both energy and climate fronts, it is critical to understand more about the claims, realities and options ahead.

A Congolese refugee, Amisi recently completed his doctoral thesis on the Inga Hydropower Projects at CCS, and in early March he will present his research at the University of Illinois Power Africa Conference. Boyce is a UKZN PhD student in economics. Bond is CCS director and authored the book Politics of Climate Justice.

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