George Hay

Breakingviews - Review: Green sceptic sheds more heat than light

23 Oct 2020

LONDON (Reuters Breakingviews) - Bjorn Lomborg is a polarising character. Reviewing “False Alarm”, the Danish academic’s latest book, Nobel Prize-winning economist Joseph Stiglitz concludes it “would be downright dangerous were it to succeed in persuading anyone that there was merit in its arguments”. The book raises interesting questions, but also emits more heat than light.

Breakingviews - Stored carbon could morph into investment gold

20 Oct 2020

LONDON (Reuters Breakingviews) - If wind and solar power are zero-carbon energy’s golden boys, carbon capture is its problem child. Climate activists often see the process of removing the pollutant from fossil fuel emissions as an expensive and untested way for oil majors to stick to business as usual. That’s about to change, and in a way that will interest investors.

Breakingviews - Big Oil’s green rush needn’t inflate a big bubble

06 Oct 2020

LONDON (Reuters Breakingviews) - Big Oil has some big numbers to back its renewable energy ambitions. France’s Total is now aiming for 35 gigawatts of wind and solar capacity by 2025, following BP’s recently announced goal of 20 GW. With deep-pocketed interlopers pouring more and more money into green projects, the question is whether there are enough wind farms and solar parks to go around, and at what price.  

Breakingviews - China’s green goal could lead to a virtuous circle

29 Sep 2020

LONDON (Reuters Breakingviews) - Xi Jinping has set himself a taxing exam question. Having committed to neutralise China’s carbon dioxide emissions before 2060, the country’s president needs to find a dramatically different way to power a $14 trillion economy that currently relies overwhelmingly on carbon-heavy fossil fuels. A potential solution could help not only the People’s Republic, but other countries wrestling with the same problem. 

Breakingviews - Review: Oil historian of record drops his compass

18 Sep 2020

LONDON (Reuters Breakingviews) - If anyone should have a good handle on how to properly manage the transition to a low-carbon world, it’s Daniel Yergin. The prize-winning author knows both the traditional hydrocarbon industries and the wider energy business inside out. So it’s disappointing that his latest tome, “The New Map”, does not come with clearer signposts.

Breakingviews - BP limbers up for green transition high-wire act

14 Sep 2020

LONDON (Reuters Breakingviews) - Bernard Looney’s big moment has come. Over the next three days rival oil majors will be tuning in to hear the BP chief executive set out how the company’s pivot to renewable energy is going to work. The answer may not be totally reassuring: while credible, Looney’s plan resembles a high-wire balancing act. 

Breakingviews - Rio Tinto board can choose CEO – at expense of ESG

10 Sep 2020

LONDON (Reuters Breakingviews) - Simon Thompson is in a tricky position. Rio Tinto’s, chairman attempted last month to draw a line under the company’s disastrous decision to blow up Aboriginal heritage sites to make way for iron ore mines. It didn’t work. With shareholders pushing for something tougher than axing Chief Executive Jean-Sebastien Jacques’ 2020 bonus and a chunk of his long-term incentive plan, a bigger sacrifice is needed.

Breakingviews - Hydrogen investing is a lottery worth playing

22 Jul 2020

LONDON (Reuters Breakingviews) - Hydrogen is the energy buzzword of the moment. The chemical element could play a key role in the global push to produce carbon-free energy. That appeal is already evident in the toppy valuations of some of the industry’s main participants. Yet it’s still a lottery worth playing.

Breakingviews - Green laggards face a rising tide of short selling

15 Jul 2020

LONDON (Reuters Breakingviews) - Climate change refuseniks are on borrowed time. BNP Paribas Asset Management on Wednesday launched a fund that will hedge its investments in companies embracing the energy transition by shorting those doing the opposite. It’s a trend that should become more and more prevalent.

Breakingviews - BlackRock warrants a spot on its climate watchlist

14 Jul 2020

LONDON (Reuters Breakingviews) - BlackRock’s green pivot now comes with hard numbers. The $6.5 trillion asset manager said on Tuesday it voted over the past 12 months against 53 companies it deemed to be dragging their feet on climate change. That’s an improvement on the six firms that earned BlackRock’s opprobrium the previous year – and is better aligned with Chief Executive Larry Fink’s call to environmental arms in January. But BlackRock’s own oversight record also requires monitoring.

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