If you have been watching the weather reports this summer you are aware it is warmer than usual across the west with drought conditions and forest fires reported on a daily and weekly basis. It seems since the conditions happened last year, they will be the new normal, the weather has changed and it is not always for the best.
For the past 100 plus years, our economy’s backbone has been the oil and gas industry which has brought a lot of good and not so good. However, the big oil companies have recognized they play a role in helping carbon emissions fall and BP has an annual energy review.
In an article by Ron Bousso of Reuters, BP’s chief economist Spencer Dale noted last year was the biggest fall in carbon emissions in more than 75 years, however the reason was COVID and government lockdowns. However he noted as economies around the world open up, which is good, the gains will be likely transitory.
The economic slowdown in 2020 led to 4.5% drop in global energy demand and a 9.3% drop in oil consumption. In April 2020, oil demand dropped 20% or 20 million barrels a day.
Mr. Dale noted those are the trends we want to see as the world transitions to net zero – strong growth in renewables nd wind and solar capacity expanded rapidly in 2020, but not enough to affect global warming as the economy opens up again.
Linking to dividend paying stocks, in every industry there are exciting new technologies that will help use less energy and they are being adapted, are they quick enough for the global warming to slow is any one’s guess but you can look at the companies you invest in to see what they are doing. Are they part of the problem or part of the solution, for if they are part of the problem some investors will try to avoid the stocks. If they are part of the solution, even if it is at the margins, then more investors will buy their stocks and that is a good thing.
There are more questions than answers, till the next time – to raising questions.