The current retreat from fossil fuels is not an organic, market-driven change, it is imposed, top-down diktat. Like virtually all such diktat, this is a step backward, and its being supported by corporations and investment houses. From F. William Engdahl at globalresearch.ca:
Most people are bewildered by what is a global energy crisis, with prices for oil, gas and coal simultaneously soaring and even forcing closure of major industrial plants such as chemicals or aluminum or steel. The Biden Administration and EU have insisted that all is because of Putin and Russia’s military actions in Ukraine. This is not the case. The energy crisis is a long-planned strategy of western corporate and political circles to dismantle industrial economies in the name of a dystopian Green Agenda. That has its roots in the period years well before February 2022, when Russia launched its military action in Ukraine.
Blackrock pushes ESG
In January, 2020 on the eve of the economically and socially devastating covid lockdowns, the CEO of the world’s largest investment fund, Larry Fink of Blackrock, issued a letter to Wall Street colleagues and corporate CEOs on the future of investment flows. In the document, modestly titled “A Fundamental Reshaping of Finance”, Fink, who manages the world’s largest investment fund with some $7 trillion then under management, announced a radical departure for corporate investment. Money would “go green.” In his closely-followed 2020 letter Fink declared,
“In the near future – and sooner than most anticipate – there will be a significant re-allocation of capital…Climate risk is investment risk.” Further he stated, “Every government, company, and shareholder must confront climate change.” [i]
In a separate letter to Blackrock investor clients, Fink delivered the new agenda for capital investing. He declared that Blackrock will exit certain high-carbon investments such as coal, the largest source of electricity for the USA and many other countries. He added that Blackrock would screen new investment in oil, gas and coal to determine their adherence to the UN Agenda 2030 “sustainability.”
Fink made clear the world’s largest fund would begin to disinvest in oil, gas and coal. “Over time,” Fink wrote, “companies and governments that do not respond to stakeholders and address sustainability risks will encounter growing skepticism from the markets, and in turn, a higher cost of capital.” He added that, “Climate change has become a defining factor in companies’ long-term prospects… we are on the edge of a fundamental reshaping of finance.” [ii]
From that point on the so-called ESG investing, penalizing CO2 emitting companies like ExxonMobil, has become all the fashion among hedge funds and Wall Street banks and investment funds including State Street and Vanguard. Such is the power of Blackrock. Fink was also able to get four new board members in ExxonMobil committed to end the company’s oil and gas business.