What Is the Sustainable Investment Case for Fracking in southern Africa?
GIBS in conjunction with Africa Sustainable Investment Forum (AfricaSIF.org) present:
What do sustainable investors make of the risks and opportunities from fracking?
The GIBS + AfricaSIF.org Sustainable Investment Case Forum aims to explain the investment case for investment in fracking in southern Africa by mapping all the potential risks and returns, including environmental, social and corporate governance (ESG) factors.
Fracking is a controversial topic currently being debated in Africa, especially in Southern Africa as South Africa considers if/how to develop a policy on energy and extraction that considers the technology of shale gas fracturing, commonly called "fracking". Investors are increasingly seeking investments with positive environmental, social and governance (ESG) attributes. According to the recent IFC-SInCo report, sustainable investment in Sub-Saharan Africa has a major footprint of around US$ 125 billion in AuM integrating ESG factors in some way, Much of that investment in Sustainable Investment is from South Africa.
The controversial method for extracting natural gas — hydraulic fracturing or 'fracking' — is "stirring an environmental and property rights debate in South Africa". On Wednesday 20 April 2011 the South African government imposed a moratorium on oil and gas exploration licenses in the semi-arid Karoo region, recently extended another six months. Companies such as Shell and SASOL have applied in 2010/2011 for exploratory licenses from Petroleum Agency South Africa for a large area which includes the Karoo. The US Energy Information Administration has estimated that there are 485-trillion cubic feet of shale gas in the Karoo. The South African Department of Minerals will lead a multi-disciplinary team including the Departments of Trade & Industry , Science and Technology, amongst others, to fully research the full implications of the proposed fracking. The GCIS media release emphasized "Cabinet has made it very clear that clean environment together with all the ecological aspects will not be compromised." The study of underground aquifers alone could take years, according to some experts.
The GIBS + AfricaSIF.org Sustainable Investment Case Forum aims to find answers by listening to the opinions of Africa's leading sustainable investment practitioners in a live forum session. In Africa, the huge new demand for reliable, cheap and environmentally-friendly power generation follows as one billion Africans increasingly seek better (and more energy-intensive) lives. But can African develop its energy resources while creating jobs, not destroying its natural endowment and leading to corrupt practices? Who loses in the trade-offs? How can leading investors help us understand consider the investment case for fracking including material ESG factors. Can fracking work without compromising a clean environment or irreversible ecological damage? Where will the massive amounts of water needed come from? What investment opportunities are there, and what liabilities may investors be taking on? Fracking in the semi-arid Karoo has attracted international attention, has opponents (eg farmers, Treasure Karoo Action Group, Greenpeace, BKB) and proponents (Karoo Fracking Forum). Shell has funded a series of journalist visits to the US to study existing projects.
We aim to find answers by listening to the opinions of Africa's leading
sustainable investment practitioners in a live forum session. In Africa, the huge new demand for reliable, cheap and environmentally-friendly power generation follows as one billion Africans increasingly seek better (and more energy-intensive) lives. But can African develop its energy resources while creating jobs, not destroying its natural endowment and leading to corrupt practices? Who loses in the trade-offs? How does one consider the investment case for fracking which includes ESG factors; what is the whole story - a story that has attracted international attention, has opponents (eg Treasure Karoo Action Group, Greenpeace, BKB) and proponents (Karoo Fracking Forum). Shell has funded a series of journalist visits to the US to study existing projects. Just 2 months before the major UN environmental regulations international conference - United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UN FCCC) COP17 takes place down in Durban, South Africa Nov-Dec 2011, AfricaSIF will co-host our first Sustainable Investment Case Forum together with our partners, GIBS, one of the continent's leading business schools.
AfricaSIF.org is an independent, pan-African, not-for-profit network, knowledgebase and advocate promoting investment in sustainable development across the continent launched in June 2010. The AfricaSIF.org Project is building a network of institutions and individuals promoting sustainable investment in Africa by investors in public, private and philanthropy sectors across asset classes, countries and stakeholders from our platform @ africasif.org.
The University of Pretoria's Gordon Institute of Business Science (GIBS) is an internationally accredited business school, based in Johannesburg, South Africa's economic hub. For the eighth consecutive year, GIBS has been ranked as one of the top 50 business schools worldwide by the Financial Times’ open executive education survey, the only African business school to make it into this year's top 50. www.gibs.ac.za
The Gordon Institute of Business Science launched the GIBS Forum for business executives in South Africa in early 2000. Attendees are brought together by the mutual desire to build quality business relationships, gain further understanding of the fast-paced business environment and share best practices of innovation and leadership. Regular high level functions of both a business and social nature create a productive climate for discussion and interaction. http://www.gibs.co.za/gibs-forum/forum-events.aspx