How the energy crisis impacts on food security in SA
In 2008, scores of South Africans responded in angry disbelief to calls to switch off their lights for an hour in WWF’s annual Earth Hour campaign.
In the midst of what was, at that point, the country’s worst ever energy crisis, the call to voluntarily dim the lights seemed ludicrous. Seven years down the line, and with Earth Hour round the corner on 28 March, the country faces a similar energy situation, with talk of loadshedding continuing for the next few years at best.
The difference is, this time round we know more. Increasing resource price inflation and volatility has highlighted the interconnected and interdependent nature of energy, water and food resources and the increased risk of resource-related shocks.
Crisis in the energy system can quickly have knock-on effects to the food system. For example, consider the impacts of loadshedding on both irrigation schedules and the cold chain in food transport in the African Continent.