Like a cat among the pigeons, the IEA writes that “beyond projects already committed as of 2021, there are no new oil and gas fields approved for development in our pathway, and no new coal mines or mine extensions are required”.
This came as a surprise to the many financial players who have until now hidden behind the recommendations of an agency historically known for its positions in favor of increased coal, gas, and oil production. Total’s shareholders obviously did not receive the memo in time: they voted overwhelmingly for the French major’s bogus climate plan.
While these same shareholders voted for climate action at the AGMs of the US oil and gas majors, their votes at the AGMs of Total and Shell show that they are content with the appearance of climate action. Exxon and Chevron will only need to increase their investments in renewables without giving up their increased production of hydrocarbons to secure the loyal support of investors.
But perhaps we can give them the benefit of the doubt and assume that they haven’t had time to read and digest the IEA’s conclusions? AXA, Scor, and other insurers launching the Net-Zero Insurance Alliance in the fall have a golden opportunity to prove that yes, they intend to implement the IEA’s recommendations and offer a token of their sincerity by committing to not insure Total’s highly controversial EACOP oil project.
As for the banks, our new report shows that they are not equipped to protect themselves from a potential devaluation of fossil assets. It is therefore in their own interests to as soon as possible stop aggravating the situation through the development of new fossil fuels and to reduce their exposure to the riskiest oil and gas sectors.