Four tips for making a real difference
I agree that ultimately our energy system will have to move away from the present heavy reliance on the burning of fossil fuels. There are many reasons for this. Climate Change may or may not be the most important driver. In my opinion it is not.
Our goal should be the facilitation of the steady and intelligent shift to other forms of energy generation, not Net Zero. Net Zero may be a result of this shift but it is a fools errand to focus on it as the main objective.
Roger, as you might guess, I am highly suspicious of all emissions reduction strategies: Carbon tax, carbon offset, cap and trade, and ESG.
Since my membership in Chicago Climate Exchange and advisory committee for EU-ETS in 2004, I have thought that none of the strategies can accurately provide the material facts of energy consumption for publicly traded companies. You know, measured and verified units on a balance sheet that an accounting firm could sign off.
Ultimately, all strategies are quite vulnerable to gaming, greenwashing, and downright fraud in national and international markets. In particular, ESG has so many different sets of rules and regulations that no two countries have the same sets.
My guess is that the global economy will need to make much better use of “The Cloud Revolution”, Mark Mills recently wrote about.
To be more precise, it is likely to take decades before ESG can be properly monetized, but that doesn't mean ESG cannot be a guide for all.
P.S. You will notice I haven't even brought up the problems of Wall Street’s fiduciary responsibility.
Thanks Roger, I hope you are enjoying Norway! Here's a local ESG story: This spring our pension provider used our employees´ (incl. mine) pension savings to vote against our energy transition plan at our AGM - among other things demanding more action on scope 3. (And that one is tricky... Right now we happen to be the biggest gas supplier to Europe...) I question the legitimacy of the ESG-push from these financial companies. As we spend up the carbon budget for 1,5 degrees, activism for Paris/1,5 targets will necessarily become more and more radical. I doubt ordinary savers and employees support their money being used to vote this way. How can these financial companies claim legitimacy to vote against stuff that even our democratically elected government supports. It is hard to understand how ordinary savings have been hijacked into funding radical activism without broader protest or pushback.
Thanks for answering this. Great thoughts as always. There is a reasonable emphasis on scope 3 from many ESG sympathetic parties. Eg look at the aims of Climate Action 100 or the IGCC. It would be great to expand why you think it’s a waste of time ? I assume this is because companies can not directly impact scope 3. Some ESG folk may argue that “education” and other policies can impact what people / consumers / business do with scope 3, and it might also drive policy shift. But it might not be a companies responsibility and may be more to do with decarbonising demand. It’s also coming up at shareholder votes. Thanks. B
Does that 1500 x 2.5mw every day turbines include China, India and other countries that are ignoring net zero. Meaning is it net zero for the whole world. It seems to be.