Horizons Newsletter – week 26 // 2021
Horizons is a bi-monthly Dasym Research initiative to show you how the Dasym themes have been in the news. We publish the Horizons on our website and as an email newsletter. If you wish to receive the email, please contact Investor Relations.
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Stakeholders enforce green power pivot
Climate activism is putting major oil companies under pressure to pivot to green power production. Royal Dutch Shell, for example, had to accelerate plans to go green after losing a court case last month, ordering the company to cut its carbon pollution by 45% by 2030. At ExxonMobil, activist investors recently secured a third seat on the board, pressuring the oil company towards cleaner energy, and at Chevron, shareholders voted against management, directing the company to cut greenhouse gas emissions. Governments too, increasingly pledge to achieve net-zero emissions. This month, for instance, the G7 leaders committed to the energy transition roadmap proposed in a recent scenario report from the International Energy Agency. Part of that plan to reach net zero by 2050 is that energy groups must stop all new oil and gas exploration and quadruple their levels of environmentally friendly investment in the coming years. A handful of energy companies have already pivoted, including Danish Ørsted, Spanish Iberdrola, Italy’s Enel, and America’s NextEra Energy. With pressure mounting, the rest will have to follow suit.
Broaden your horizon?
In this section we share content that may be of interest to you:
- This Bloomberg article contrasts the differing visions represented by Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies.
- About one in 20 Americans have moved in response to the corona pandemic. So-called Zoom-towns are trying to attract new inhabitants with financial incentives and campaigns that stress the perks of living in the great outdoors.
- This article takes a closer look at the evolving digital content and distribution landscape across developing markets, and how companies are positioning themselves to take advantage of the imminent prospect for growth.
Judges break the unwritten rule of environmental agreements
Even though it is the first climate-case against a company, the court ruling against Royal Dutch Shell is part of a wider trend of demanding more action to lessen the impact of climate change. Yet, while the intentions are clear, the effect of these rulings may actually be counterproductive, since they break the unwritten rule that international agreements on climate action are taken with a grain of salt. Such agreements tend to be either abstract or focused on the long term and leave a lot of room for interpretation with respect to short-term action. The resulting ´wiggle room´ allows politicians to sign these agreements and adopt a wait-and-see strategy afterwards. Now it is clear that the courts no longer accept this strategy and are forcing governments to start acting immediately in order to meet the long-term goals they have agreed upon. Looking ahead, the question is whether these rulings will indeed lead to much-needed action, or rather prevent politicians from signing any new agreements that could lead to similar court cases in the future.