Monday, March 09, 2015

While the Getting's Good

The Bank of England's warning is pretty clear - beware the Carbon Bubble.  The bank is urging major insurance companies, top tier investors, to divest from fossil fuels, get out while the getting's good.

Insurance companies could suffer a “huge hit” if their investments in fossil fuel companies are rendered worthless by action on climate change, the Bank of England warned.

“One live risk right now is of insurers investing in assets that could be left ‘stranded’ by policy changes which limit the use of fossil fuels,” said Paul Fisher, deputy head of the bank’s prudential regulation authority (PRA) that supervises banks and insurers and is tasked with avoiding systemic risks to the economy.
“As the world increasingly limits carbon emissions, and moves to alternative energy sources, investments in fossil fuels – a growing financial market in recent decades – may take a huge hit,” Fisher told an insurance conference. He said there “are already a few specific examples of this having happened”, but did not name them, and added that it was clear his concerns had yet to “permeate” the sector.

The new warning from one of the world’s key central banks follows a caution from its head Mark Carney that the “vast majority of [fossil fuel] reserves are unburnable” if climate change is to be limited to 2C, as pledged by the world’s governments. The bank will deliver a report to government on the financial risk posed by a “carbon bubble” later in 2015.


WILLY said...

This report would have cost him his job in Canada

The Mound of Sound said...

I hadn't thought of it that way but you're almost certainly right, Willy. Jeebus!