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Investors urge governments not to ditch climate for energy security -Breaking


© Reuters. FILE PHOTO – Windmills can be seen at the Dan Tysk wind park, Swedish energy company Vattenfall (public services Munich), west of Sylt Island in the North Sea. This was April 27, 2015. REUTERS/Fabian Bimmer


By Simon Jessop

LONDON (Reuters), – Asset owners with assets in excess of $10.4 trillion are urging governments to not allow worries over the security of fossil fuel supply to impede greener energy transition necessary to prevent catastrophic climate change.

The United Nations has issued fresh warnings to governments about how to rapidly increase renewable energy, and reduce support for carbon-intensive fossil fuels.

According to the Steering Group at the Net Zero Asset Owner Alliance which includes many of the most powerful pensions and insurance companies in the world, Friday’s statement stated that policies relating to energy security must be compatible with the goals of climate change.

The Paris Agreement sets a goal to limit global warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius above preindustrial levels by 2050. This would require significant near-term reductions in fossil fuel consumption.

The world continues to be driven by a high level of fossil fuel-based energy consumption that is far greater than the required carbon budgets in order to achieve the 1.5C Paris Agreement goal. “This trend needs to be stopped,” said the investor group.

This group demanded that taxpayer money not be used to support fossil fuel industries with subsidies, which go against pledges by governments to reduce net-zero carbon emissions.

“In the short term, using all available energy resources – including the immediate scaling of energy efficiency – to diversify energy supply must be a top priority for many countries, especially in Europe,” the group said.

The investor group reported that the unit costs of solar energy and batteries are both down by about 85%. Wind energy prices, however, have fallen 55%.

The investors stated that these are “viable steps toward energy system resilience”, a greener economy and provision of jobs. They also protect consumers and businesses against any future price rises in oil or gas.