Karpowership’s game farm donation dismissed as ‘greenwashing’ by lobby groups | City Press

Karpowership's game farm donation dismissed as 'greenwashing' by lobby groups | City Press

Karpowership SA has reached an offset agreement with Ezemvelo KZN Wildlife.

Karpowership SA has reached an offset agreement with Ezemvelo KZN Wildlife.


Environmental organisations have rejected Turkish company Karpowership’s offset agreement to donate a game farm to Ezemvelo KZN Wildlife.

Karpowership SA announced on September 6 that it reached an agreement with Ezemvelo following its detailed submission of biodiversity offsets proposed to mitigate residual environmental effects. The company would implement both estuarine and land-based biodiversity offsets.

The National Energy Regulator of SA  awarded Karpowership SA a 20-year tender worth about R200 billion in 2021 to extract liquefied natural gas offshore at Richard’s, Coega and Saldanha bays as part of the country’s Risk Mitigation Independent Power Producer Procurement Programme.

Groundwork and 10 other environmental organisations expressed their displeasure in a statement on Tuesday. 

READ: PR agencies listed for accepting contracts to ‘greenwash’ the public

The Karpowership deal has been mired in controversy since it was first announced and this is just another event that implies that this deal will eventually be realised, no matter what the consequences to the environment or regular South Africans. This is unacceptable.

The organisations said that the risks involved with the Karpowership project had been well documented since the company was announced as the preferred bidder. 

They said that the electricity that would be provided by Karpowership would be more expensive than renewable energy, built and owned by South Africans.

“One wonders who stands to benefit if the Karpowership contract is signed and their ships are moored in our harbours. Clearly, it will not be ordinary South Africans that benefit,” the organisations said. 

They added:

READ: Electricity-generating Karpowership reaches biodiversity offset agreement with Ezemvelo Wildlife

  • The price of electricity from Karpowership will be linked to international oil and gas prices and the value of the US dollar, which means that any number of events could lead to this electricity becoming unaffordable at short notice;
  • The take-and-pay nature of the contract between the South African government and Karpowership means citizens would be forced to pay for energy from these ships for the full duration of the contract, even if they did not need the energy;
  • Karpowership’s record in other countries has shown that they did not hesitate to switch off the electricity if a government could not afford to pay their bills;
  • The continuous running of the floating power vessels over 20 years risked unacceptable impacts on the oceans where they are docked and this could undermine marine ecosystems on which fisherfolk depend for their livelihoods, and risk natural habitat loss for several endangered species of birds and sea life.

READ: Karpowership commits to spending over R1bn in three provinces

Our government seems intent on pursuing the exploration and burning of more fossil fuels while they drag their feet in pursuing sustainable solutions to our energy crisis, the climate and economic pressures on South Africans are only increasing.

Country director at Clean Creatives SA Stephen Horn said that despite record heat and extreme weather in 2023, the general public remained largely unaware of the link between the climate emergency and fossil fuels.

“Polluters like TotalEnergies and Karpowership use strategic communication, advertising and sponsorship of green initiatives to improve their image and maintain a social licence in the public domain. Whether it is Karpowership’s recent plans to donate a game farm or TotalEnergies’ association with SANParks, greenwashing is rife in South Africa and undermines legitimate conservation and sustainability efforts,” Horn said.

Source: https://www.news24.com/citypress/news/karpowerships-game-farm-donation-dismissed-as-greenwashing-by-lobby-groups-20230926