Losing the climate war week by week
Plus, Big Tech gets serious about Scope 3 supply chain pollution
In today’s edition:
— Oil majors are producing more oil than ever before. Where’s the transition?
— Amazon becomes latest tech giant to turn up climate pressure on its vendors
— Tesla earnings Wednesday are predicted to be a glum affair, but with total EV industry sales in the U.S. now pacing 100,000 a month, there is always room for surprise
— Why do environmentalists hate wind and solar power, and what the climate community is doing to change that
— One million animal and plant species are at risk as forests are destroyed. Are the goals of biodiversity even possible?
Anyone still wondering why Exxon Mobil XOM 0.00%↑ bought U.S. shale giant Pioneer Natural Resources for $60 billion last week need look no further than domestic oil production figures this week that showed oil production hit an all-time high of 13.2 million barrels a day.
Despite the tug and thrust between the Biden Administration and the Republican-backed fossil fuel energy on everything from climate emissions disclosures to electric vehicles and renewable energy, the oil machine shows no signs of breaking down in the face of unprecedented demand for electricity — because of climate change.
As we noted last week, oil executives are prepared to go down swinging and are betting it will take far longer to transition to solar and wind power than any government or energy department forecasts predict. As the climate world shifts to the COP28 climate summit in Dubai in about six weeks, and political leaders fret the impact of the new Israeli war on the Middle East, this last stand of fossil fuels bears close attention.
We’ve long said that real emissions reduction and climate mitigation won’t happen until the oil giants are fully on board — i.e., They see a way to make more money off it then by drilling for oil, gas and blasting shale. As these numbers show, we’re just not there yet. And in the U.S., the presidential election next year is likely to delay any real progress significantly.
This means the rotation from fossil fuel shares back to clean energy stocks might also be delayed. Investors must now keep an eye on COP28 more than ever, as it is effectively being hosted by oil interests this year. Any sign of progress in carbon technology agreements or hedging with renewables could start a powerful rally. But after this week’s production numbers, we’re not holding our breath. . . .
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