Almost a year ago, May 2020, I wrote the following article.
How Many Fingers Do You Have?
The point I was making, and have been predicting all along for many years if you’ve been paying attention, is that our transition from a world reliant on fossil fuels to one that has essentially eliminated the emission of CO2, methane and other climate warming substances, would not be a gradual and linear process. Instead, we would reach a tipping point and that the dam would break at which point EVERYTHING would change at a breathtaking pace.
While it won’t happen on one particular day, I believe we are now definitely at the beginning of that period of exponential change. While the reason is that it is now crystal clear to enough change makers that climate change is real and and the physical consequences (hurricanes, tornados, flooding, fires, drought, mudslides, rising oceans, alteration of the gulf stream and jet stream and on and on) are terrifying enough, the recognition of the financial consequences are the driving factor.
Follow the $$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$. Trillions upon trillions. Both the downside AND the upside. The mounting financial costs and the enormous profits to be made.
With this in mind, I am highlighting three articles this week. Two are about two changes at the FERC (Federal Energy Regulatory Commission). This agency has an, to say the least, enormous influence on what electric power is produced and distributed. Changes in their policies and practices will move markets and dramatically propel the sources of energy.
Two dramatic policy shifts will tip the scales away from fossil fuels and toward renewable sources. They are going to make building gas and oil pipelines almost impossible while at the same time ending the subsidizing of fossil fuels in the electric grid system.
Combine that with today’s featured article that summarizes much of what I’ve been reporting on regarding how the financial markets are shifting away from fossil fuels due to public pressure, public policy and profits and you have only a portion of the tsunami that is about to overwhelm our society.
The dam has broken and extremely rapid change is starting to happen. The next two or three years are going to be breathtaking.
“As the climate crisis swept the globe on a biblical scale it left in its wake a record number of billion-dollar disasters.”
“A steadily growing trend in investment went fully mainstream in 2020″
“The tectonic corporate shift is being led by a strategic detour by some of the world’s biggest investors.”
“By September last year more than 800 cities, 100 regions and 1,500 companies had pledged to decarbonize their societies and economies…Between them those companies have combined revenue of over $11.4tn and are responsible for 3.5 gigatonnes in greenhouse gas emissions, an amount greater than India’s annual emissions.”
“now the major money managers are on board too. Larry Fink, the founder and chief executive of BlackRock, announced that environmental sustainability was now a core goal for his company, one that manages $7tn in investments. Other big money managers including Fidelity and Vanguard are also on board.”
“the attitudinal shift should not be underestimated and where it goes others will follow”
“make no mistake, this is about money. Sustainability is “a new source of return across all asset classes””
“the move is part of an encouraging, societal change in how business is reacting to the climate crisis and how investors are helping to drive that change. “The pace is just huge and it is in the right direction,””
“let’s be clear, they are doing this because they are reading the writing on the wall. The people who put money in their funds want to know how they voted on resolutions. They are getting pushed by the customer, by the science, by the general public.””
Is some of what is being said greenwashing? Yes. But that is not sustainable. Very quickly the pressure to do what is necessary will prevail.
Hot-button Market Rule at ‘Inflection Point’ — Chatterjee
Arianna Skibell, E&E Reporter
March 24, 2021
Federal Energy Regulatory Commissioner Neil Chatterjee said yesterday that he’s open to rolling back a contentious market rule critics say props up fossil fuel power plants and discourages new investments in renewable power.
“Everyone knows we’re in the midst of a very serious transformation in the electric generation sector,” Glick said. “We’re causing consumers to spend billions of dollars extra in the name of trying to address price suppression, and I don’t think that’s sustainable in the long run.”
The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission assessed a natural gas pipeline project’s contribution to climate change for the first time ever yesterday
“Today’s order reverses the commission’s unlawful course and allows us to honestly say we actually considered a proposed project’s potential impact on the environment,”
Reading the Writing on the Wall’:Why Wall Street is Acting on the Climate Crisis
The industry has backed polluters for decades. Now, amid growing pressure, Wall Street says it’s going green
Wildfires burned nearly 10.4m acres across the US last year. The most costly thunderstorm in US history caused $7.5bn in damage across Illinois, Iowa, Nebraska and South Dakota. As the climate crisis swept the globe on a biblical scale it left in its wake a record number of billion-dollar disasters.
And yet out of these ashes has emerged an unlikely savior: Wall Street. After decades of backing polluters and opposing legislation to rein them in, finance says it’s going green.
A steadily growing trend in investment went fully mainstream in 2020 as a record number of corporations pledged to go “net zero” and move to cancel out the carbon emissions they produce to halt a catastrophic rise in global temperatures.
The tectonic corporate shift is being led by a strategic detour by some of the world’s biggest investors. It used to be the protesters outside Davos and annual shareholder meetings who talked about greenhouse gases and rising sea levels. Now it’s the bankers. And when money talks, corporations listen. But can Wall Street really save the planet? There are at least positive signs that they are trying.
Joseph Stiglitz, a Nobel laureate and Columbia University economics professor, doesn’t think Wall Street has a choice. “People used to use the analogy that climate change was like boiling a frog and we wouldn’t notice it until it was too late,” said Stiglitz. “Well, we have been boiled. We are trying to jump out of this.”
Countries including the UK, France, Denmark and New Zealand have pledged to go net zero by 2050 and the EU and Canada are working on their own plans.
The financial calculus is obvious. As the climate crisis continues, the risk of doing nothing is rising and the money is moving.
In 2013 Exxon was the world’s largest company, last year it dropped out of the Dow Jones Index, the blue chip index that is synonymous with the “stock markets” for many investors. Last year it lost $22bn and the company, which for decades denied the climate crisis was real and actively lobbied against change, has been forced to elect climate activist investors to its board.