‘We need to replace these high-carbon fuels with renewable energy, and we need to do it fast, as though preparing for war. ’
Following the release of the second report from Carbon Tracker, Unburnable Carbon: Avoiding wasted capital and stranded assets, Alliance magazine spoke to its chair, Jeremy Leggett.
He discusses the need for a managed, rapid and complete retreat from the use of fossil fuels if disastrous global warming is to be avoided, outlining the role for private foundations, individual philanthropists and impact investors in addressing climate change. While speaking about the cost of fossil fuel shares, Leggett touches on the importance of foundations looking at where they invest their assets.
‘…Carbon Tracker makes a really powerful argument. It points out the disconnect between what climate policymakers have said they’re going to do, which is to cut emissions deeply, and what the capital markets routinely do with fossil fuels, which is to put them on the balance sheets of companies as though they are assets at zero risk of impairment. This is really capital markets sticking a finger up at government and saying, ‘You know what, we don’t believe you’ll ever do anything.’ Consequently, people who are investing money in fossil fuels are not having that risk recognized…’
‘…we do need much more leadership from government on climate. You saw this at the Earth Summit in Rio when the heads of state of the key countries didn’t even bother to turn up, and yet this is an issue where the future of civilization is at risk – as world leaders are being advised by their own scientific centres of excellence. But there are also roles for others. I actually think some corporations are doing better than government… Foundations have a huge role to play, too…’ Read more >
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