LONDON (Reuters) – The body that reviews British law has sought to remove all doubt that investors can target more-sustainable companies, but is less clear-cut over an environmental campaign against fossil fuel investment.
While trillions of dollars of assets globally are invested according to environmental, social or governance (ESG) criteria, the legal grounds for doing so have been remarkably uncertain.
LONDON, Nov 7 (Reuters) – The body that reviews British law
has sought to remove all doubt that investors can target
more-sustainable companies, but is less clear-cut over an
environmental campaign against fossil fuel investment.
While trillions of dollars of assets globally are invested
according to environmental, social or governance (ESG) criteria,
the legal grounds for doing so have been remarkably uncertain.
LONDON, Oct 31 (Reuters) – Harvard’s decision to keep buying
into the fossil fuel industry through its $32.7 billion
investment fund – the world’s biggest – is a blow to a
divestment campaign also navigating legal uncertainty among
performance-driven fund managers.
Environmental groups driving the a divestment movement argue
that most fossil fuels must not be burned if the world is to
avoid the worst effects of climate change – a threat to the
value of energy companies which own coal, oil and gas reserves.
LONDON, Oct 24 (Reuters) – Taxpayer- or consumer-funded
incentive programmes to push all private homeowners in Britain
and the United States to improve energy efficiency are likely to
produce savings in energy bills that far exceed their cost,
besides cutting carbon emissions.
So far, governments have targeted efficiency programmes on
social housing and have left private homeowners to pay for their
own improvements – except for some complicated, voluntary
schemes that have had few takers.
LONDON, Oct 23 (Reuters) – Both European Union and U.S.
carbon emissions have fallen sharply over the past five years,
but working out whether that will continue requires teasing out
short-term and one-off factors, and pinpointing lasting
Some causes are temporary or one-off: clearly, over the last
several years energy demand was lower as a result of the
financial crisis; while the weather can have a large impact,
including a mild 2011/2012 winter in the United States.
LONDON, Oct 21 (Reuters) – Britain’s investment in new
nuclear power is a result of a previous decision to limit the
country’s options, and depends on an argument for energy
security that fails to convince.
Britain has ruled out new coal power and adopted tough
carbon emissions targets as well as a carbon tax on energy,
given concerns about climate change.
LONDON, Oct 17 (Reuters) – British government plans to
review payments for making homes more energy-efficient are
political posturing – an attempt to show concern over rising
electricity bills, but sounding more like desperation.
Efficiency should be the centrepiece of efforts to curb
households’ energy costs, not a victim.
LONDON, Oct 16 (Reuters) – Falling costs for European
roof-top solar power combined with rising utility tariffs allow
a new approach to lower subsidies – where households and
business no longer need to be paid for the solar power they
Until recently, it has always been more profitable to sell
one’s own solar energy back into the system overall, thanks to
the premium, subsidised prices set for such energy to make
investment in solar panels worthwhile.
LONDON, Oct 15 (Reuters) – Germany’s cost for upgrading its
grid to bring in more wind and solar power exceeds the monetary
benefits it receives from savings on fossil fuel and avoiding
the damage caused by global warming.
Once the net cost of a multi-billion-euro subsidy programme
is thrown in, then Germany’s renewable energy policy seems to be
poor value for money.
LONDON, Oct 10 (Reuters) – Governments are failing to deal
with rising fossil fuel prices, preferring price caps to win
votes and shield industry over efficiency measures which energy
agencies say are better value for money.
Energy subsidies have risen year on year since 2008, to $480
billion annually in 2011, according to International Monetary
Fund (IMF) figures. (See Chart 1)