By asserting that by 2040 South Africa will have transitioned to zero emissions with electric vehicles, the general manager of Uber sub-Saharan Africa, Kagiso Khaole, shows himself to be out of touch with reality (Business Report, November 8).
There are three reasons for that. First, despite the hoopla generated by the media subservient to the so-called green deal, investors are souring on the falsehood of a carbon-free future. According to BizNews of October 19, whereas in 2021 some 66% of investor respondents were bullish about green deal prospects, their ranks have since reversed themselves on what was sold as a lucrative prospect.
That trend is reflected in the 30% decline of S&P’s Global Clean Energy index, while S&P’s 500 Energy (fossil fuel) index is up 43%. Last month, Shell’s stocks hit a record high. There is also awareness that electric vehicle manufacture is being politically promoted by huge state subsidies. But the market is not buying it. Falling demand has forced Ford to lay off 700 workers at its Michigan plant who were manufacturing Ford’s electric F-150 pick-up.
The second reason Mr Khaole is mistaken is because green is grubby. The pie-in-the-sky view of a decarbonized future is totally contradicted by the massive emissions from the machinery required and the cost involved in extracting copper, lithium, cobalt, nickel, and iron from the ground to manufacture electric vehicles and their components. Put simply, extraction defeats the Green’s false objective.
The third reason Mr Khaole’s confidence is misplaced is because of the massive oil and gas find off our west coast. With an estimated five billion barrels of oil in one of the successful strikes and 50 trillion feet of gas, fossil fuels are very much the face of South Africa’s energy future.