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Menopausal Mother Nature

News about Climate Change and our Planet

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Climate Brief: Turning the global warming tide takes all of us – Daily Kos

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My sign for the community

Lies will not change reality. Global warming threatens our health, lifestyles and survival. There will be no survival of the healthiest, or the richest or the strongest. Each of us will be affected. Each of us will suffer, some more than others at first, and eventually all who are still living will find themselves living in a strange new world of loss, sacrifice, change and powerlessness.

What can be done? How do we convince nations, fossil fuel companies, financial institutions and individuals to adjust to this coming reality? Can boycotting fossil fuel companies or financial institutions help mitigate global warming? It looks like it will take a combination of strategies to help reduce global warming and even then we may still face ongoing challenges and suffering.

Countries and states demonstrate the mixed efforts to reduce or promote global warming. Financial institutions try to please all factions in the global warming debate. Individuals demonstrate and support their own personal beliefs regarding global warming. All these efforts create a pushmi/pullyu effort in mitigating global warming.

Fossil fuel divestment/climate solution investment

Wikipedia

Fossil fuel divestment or fossil fuel divestment and investment in climate solutions is an attempt to reduce climate change by exerting social, political, and economic pressure for the institutional divestment of assets including stocks, bonds, and other financial instruments connected to companies involved in extracting fossil fuels.

Fossil fuel divestment campaigns emerged on campuses in the United States in 2011 with students urging their administrations to turn endowment investments in the fossil fuel industry into investments in clean energy and communities most impacted by climate change.[2] In 2012, Unity College in Maine became the first institution of higher learning to divest[3] its endowment from fossil fuels.

By 2015, fossil fuel divestment was reportedly the fastest growing divestment movement in history.[4] In October 2021, a total of 1,485 institutions representing $39.2 trillion in assets worldwide had begun or committed to a divestment from fossil fuels.[5]

How effective are boycotts in reducing production of fossil fuels? The backlash from states dependent on fossil fuel jobs and income makes the situation less clear. The reduction during the Covid-19 shutdown in 2020 seemed to make a difference in use of fossil fuels, but did it make a real difference? Looking at profits made by companies in 2021 that doubled after the slowdown in 2020 shows that not much change occurred.

Some investment companies have indicated a desire to divest from fossil fuels, but have failed to make a specific commitment, instead leaving the decision up to their investors. In an article by Simon Jessup in Reuters,“BlackRock expects 75% of company and govt assets to be net zero-aligned by 2030,

BlackRock (BLK.N) … projected that by 2030 at least three quarters of its investments in companies and governments will be tied to issuers with a scientific target to cut net greenhouse gas emissions to zero by 2050, up from 25% currently.”

It was the first time BlackRock, the world’s biggest asset manager with $9.6 trillion in assets, has said how its portfolio could look in 2030 as far as emissions are concerned, but it remains an expectation rather than a firm target.

The forecast covers emissions tied to 77% of its total assets at the end of September 2021, some $9.5 trillion, but excludes those such as municipal bonds for which there is currently no reliable data.

Setting a 2030 goal is a central requirement for members of the Net Zero Asset Managers Initiative (NZAMI), a sector-wide group of money managers aiming to get to net-zero emissions across their assets. BlackRock joined the NZAMI in March2021

In Thursday’s statement BlackRock avoided using the word “target”, though, reiterating instead that the pace of change would be determined by the scale of decarbonisation in the real economy and clients’ investment decisions.

Divestment roadblocks
Even 75% sounds too low based on the urgency global warming demonstrates.

Also some states where fossil fuel companies flourish have enacted laws to prevent divestment. An article in Sludge, The Republican war against fossil fuel divestment states

In recent years, climate activist organizations have been pushing financial institutions to stop financing fossil fuel companies, given fossil fuels’ role as the leading source of carbon dioxide emissions.

While the effort has been slow going, banks including JPMorgan Chase and Citigroup have pledged to reduce their fossil fuel financing to align with the emission reduction goals of the Paris Agreement. Now, in response, the oil and gas industry is trying to do everything in its power to actively punish financial institutions and advisors for trying to take reasonable steps to address the climate crisis.

In JD Supra, State bank regulations become new front in the fossil fuel wars.

In addition to Texas, West Virginia, Louisiana and Oklahoma have laws restricting divestment from fossil fuel companies. Tennessee is jumping on the regulations too. On the other hand, other states are pushing in the opposite direction, considering laws to require their state retirement and pension funds to avoid investments in fossil fuel companies. Maine enacted a fossil fuel divestment law last year, and lawmakers in Virginia and NewYork have proposed similar laws.

An article from The Guardian, “Ireland becomes first country to divest from fossil fuels,” states that Ireland passed a resolution to divest from fossil fuels by the next five years. This is merely a drop in the world’s bucket as Ireland’s total production is €8bn.

Making fossil fuel divestment less clear
From Houston Public Media, Texas stumbles in its effort to punish green financial firms,

A spokesman for the comptroller’s office says the process “has proven challenging.”

This spring, however, the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission announced that it will begin standardizing how financial firms must disclose risks and opportunities from climate change.

But for now, figuring out who is really doing climate-conscious finance is actually quite tricky. So tricky, in fact, that the new law might even snare consultants the state hired to help.

Last fall,Texas hired MSCI Inc., a financial ratings firm that analyzes green investments, to provide data about financial firms, public records obtained by Floodlight show.

But there was a problem: MSCI is precisely the kind of company Texas officials are looking to boycott: it is committed to carbon neutrality before 2040.

Other possible strategies
From the
Guardian article,

The fossil fuel divestment movement has grown rapidly and trillions of dollars of investment funds have been divested, including large pension funds and insurers, cities such as New York, churches and universities.

Supporters of divestment say existing fossil fuel resources are already far greater than can be burned without causing catastrophic climate change and that exploring and producing more fossil fuels is therefore morally wrong and economically risky. However, some critics argue say [sic] that remaining as shareholders and persuading fossil fuel companies to change can be more effective.

ExtinctionRebellion is a worldwide movement to raise awareness of the ecological/climate crisis and agitate for swift and serious responses. They are a global and politically non-partisan movement where [they] use non-violent direct action to persuade governments to act justly on the climate and ecological emergency.

Will it help raise awareness? Will it succeed?
How can we persuade fossil fuel companies to change?
Since fossil fuel company profits declined during the pandemic, perhaps reducing their profits would send a stronger message than trying to convince universities and pension funds to divest. There are many actions we can collectively take to accomplish this. And as global warming increases, we will have no choice but to implement these strategies just to stay alive. Why not get into the practice now to prevent the eventual shock of change?

In his July 28, 2022 diary, agramente noted that

The IPCC’s models predict that 40-70% of emissions cuts by 2050 could be made on the demand side. This seems easier because it does not require the buildout of entire new industries like revamping energy production and industry do. However, the social inertia in reducing consumption so sharply could prove to be no less a challenge than systemic technological improvement.

Let’s turn around that social inertia and take action to go fossil free showing that by spending less on fossil fuels we can influence companies to make the switch to investing in climate solutions. Here are some efforts we can make now:

Drive less – car pool, consolidate all errands into one trip.

Reduce energy use at home – turn heat down to 68 and cooling up to 75.
Invest in a heat pump, which uses less power to reduce heating and cooling fossil fuel use.

Install solar, wind or join a community solar or wind group project.

Convince employers to allow work at home to reduce commuting and office heating, cooling and maintenance.

Insulate, change to energy-efficient light bulbs.

Conserve water by running a full dishwasher rather than hand washing dishes, flush less often, take shorter showers by turning off the water flow while sudsing.

Divestment from fossil fuels, investment in clean energy, taking action locally and bringing these efforts home may combine to reduce global warming. Voting out representatives that support the fossil fuel industry and electing climate-friendly ones will also make a difference.

There is a way to go fossil free as long as there is a will. 
Here is your August climate calendar.

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