Feet to the Fire: Big Oil and the Climate Crisis

(Energy Portal EU, London, 12 August 2023) The transition to clean energy is sparking intense debates as the climate crisis worsens. While cities, universities, and pension funds across the U.S. have divested from fossil fuels, the divestment movement has faced obstacles. In California, a bill that would have required public pension funds to stop investing in the largest oil, gas, and coal companies was killed for the second consecutive year. The bill’s rejection was due to concerns over its impact on workers’ retirement funds. Banks also play a significant role in the climate crisis by financing governments in dealing with its effects and lending to fossil fuel companies. The frequency and intensity of climate-induced emergencies have overwhelmed scientists and journalists, calling for a new approach to disaster reporting. Instead of treating each disaster as unrelated, climate change should be recognized as the connecting factor among them. Germany recently released a draft policy for the provision of guarantees in the energy sector, contradicting its pledge to end international financing for coal, oil, and gas projects made at COP26. Germany’s export credit agency’s policy raises questions about its commitment to ending fossil fuel funding.