Latin America must kick its addiction to oil-powered development. Mexico’s populist president Andrés Manuel López Obrador is sinking billions into the struggling state-owned oil behemoth Pemex. Argentina’s new Peronist government is hailing a big new shale oil development in Patagonia as a lifeline and Brazil’s administration has touted multi-billion-dollar oil rights auctions as transformative. Smaller South American economies have caught the oil bug too. Guyana on the Caribbean coast will join the ranks of the crude-producing nations next year as big new offshore fields come on stream and nearby Colombia is looking to pump up declining output. Amid this petroleum bonanza, the result of Brazil’s oil auction last month offers a cautionary tale. The government had expected $25bn in licensing fees alone from a development intended to more than double production and catapult Brazil into the ranks of the world’s top oil producers. The auction flopped. There are exceptions. Chile is promoting renewable energy investment and has bought the region’s biggest electric bus fleet for its capital. Colombia wants Latin American nations to commit to generating 70 per cent of their power from renewables by 2030 (some have). But such moves are tentative rather than transformational. Mexico’s state electricity utility has even drawn up plans which would make most renewables projects uncompetitive.
FT 29th Dec 2019 read more »
The world will face irreversible heating unless firms shift their priorities soon, the outgoing head of the Bank of England has told the BBC. Mark Carney said the financial sector had begun to curb investment in fossil fuels – but far too slowly. He said leading pension fund analysis “is that if you add up the policies of all of companies out there, they are consistent with warming of 3.7-3.8C”. Mr Carney made the comments in a pre-recorded BBC Radio 4 Today interview. The interview, by presenter Mishal Husain, is one of several items on the programme which are focusing on climate change, on the day the show is guest edited by environmental campaigner Greta Thunberg.
BBC 30th Dec 2019 read more »
The outgoing governor of the Bank of England, Mark Carney, has said all companies and financial institutions must justify their continued investment in fossil fuels, and warned that assets in the sector could end up “worthless”. In an interview with BBC Radio 4’s Today programme being broadcast on Monday, Carney said that although the financial sector was starting to cut back on investment in oil and gas companies, the process was not moving quickly enough. Carney, who will focus on his new role as UN special envoy for climate change and finance after he steps down from the governorship in the new year, agreed to appear on the programme for an edition edited by the climate crisis campaigner Greta Thunberg, one of several guest editors on Today over the holiday period.
Guardian 30th Dec 2019 read more »