Stranded assets as a key concept to guide investment strategies for sustainable development goal 6

Robert M. Kalin, Joseph Mwanamveka, Andrea B. Coulson, Donald J. C. Robertson, Holly Clark, Jon Rathjen, Michael O. Rivett

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

16 Citations (Scopus)
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The concept of Stranded Assets has been used for nearly 50 years across many sectors, most recently it has been a focus of investment portfolios in light of the possible impacts of climate change. However, to date there has been no in-depth determination of the impact of Stranded Assets for rural water supply, despite international development targets from Rio, through Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), and now the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). The limiting factor for carrying out such an assessment is the requirement of a full and detailed asset register recording all rural water supplies in a country. The Scottish Government Climate Justice Fund Water Futures Programme, in collaboration with the Government of Malawi, is undertaking a comprehensive asset audit across Malawi, and this paper introduces the concept of Stranded Assets for the rural water supply sector using Malawi as an exemplar. Here, we demonstrate how significant change in the implementation strategy for SDGs compared to the MDGs is needed to reduce the potential for Stranded Assets and meet its ultimate aim.
Original languageEnglish
Article number702
Number of pages13
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 5 Apr 2019


  • stranded assets
  • rural water supply
  • sustainable development goals
  • Malawi
  • WASH


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