All the signs point toward diversion of investment capital from fossils to clean energy, even though low oil prices, weak stock markets, and poor behaviour by some fossil companies could slow the agenda coming out of the United Nations climate summit in Paris, solar entrepreneur and Carbon Tracker Chair Jeremy Leggett writes on Resilience.org.
“There is bad news everywhere for the oil and gas industry,” Leggett states. “42 American shale drillers have now gone bankrupt. Some can’t even give their assets away, Bloomberg reports. Harold Hamm, a pioneer of shale drilling, told the [Financial Times] that companies are simply going to stop producing, so U.S. oil production must fall steeply this year. People may be surprised by how fast, he says.”
Meanwhile, solar prices are coming in at record lows, energy storage is surging, and more than 50 global corporations that have “pledged 100% renewable energy use” are more than half-way to their goal, Leggett notes.
“Carbon Tracker has exhorted fossil fuel companies to come clean on climate risks, whatever the oil price, in a short report to the World Economic Forum in Davos,” he writes. “We are far from alone in professing that the post-Paris world requires this.” Overall, the intensity of the global picture led him to lead his article with this snapshot:
“A Shell veteran of 35 years requests the company pension fund he depends on to divest from fossil fuels and reinvest in clean energy. A geoscientist currently working for an oil and gas major quits to take qualifications in renewable energy…The great global energy transition will play out in countless small dramas like this. But reminders of the overarching global narrative, that we are in a race against time, are remorseless. And setbacks in the post-Paris world can be expected in parallel with steps forward.”