Preparing for a decline in fossil fuels. A group of investment asset managers controlling some $US3 trillion apparently are worried that governments around the world will begin to act to curb carbon emissions and that major oil and coal companies may be investing in production capacity that will never be used. The Financial Times reports this morning that 72 investors, including several US state pension systems and fund managers such as Scottish Widows and Aviva, have written asking the producers -- including BHP Billiton and Rio Tinto -- to carry out a "risk assessment" of the consequences of a global move to cut greenhouse gas emissions by 80% by 2050, a reduction that has been estimated as giving a reasonable chance of limiting the rise in global temperatures to an acceptable 2°C.
The early response from the producing companies is not encouraging. Apparently some have rejected the idea outright with a majority of the 30 replies saying only that the idea of publishing an assessment will be considered. Given the findings of the latest Climate Action Tracker the pollution producers are unlikely to be too worried. Releasing its latest update four months ago, that organisation concluded that against a background of stalled climate talks, current analyses of climate policies show that governments are less likely than ever to deliver on the Copenhagen pledges, let alone keep global warming below 2°C.