Founder and Executive Chair of Carbon Tracker Mark Campanale said:
“There is much that is good, some bad, some lacking and without a doubt lots still to do to build on in a deal which may yet prove to be a turning-point. That’s especially true if governments can return next year, and the next, with more ambitious emissions targets.
“The prospect of an oil and gas phase-out gives me the most hope. However, it must be said that, on the current emissions pathway, we are accelerating towards a disorderly transition which will create misery for hundreds of millions — especially in the Global South. Dangerous climate change also threatens our financial stability, our livelihoods and the fabric of our societies.
“Over $1 trillion of investors’ money in new unneeded high-cost projects is already threatened in the short-term if they are not canceled in line with the 1.5 C Paris climate target. Trillions more in infrastructure investments are at risk of stranding if we fail to change course in time.
“Recent IEA and UNEP reports make it clear that, to keep 1.5C alive, there should be no new investment in oil and gas. Glasgow has been the launchpad for major new initiatives which can complement Paris: the Beyond and Oil and Gas Alliance, the Global Registry of Fossil Fuels, and the idea of a fossil fuel non-proliferation treaty to give an over-arching international framework to wind down carbon fuels. Underpinned by language on fossil fuel subsidies, we could be at a tipping-point on oil and gas.
“While we undoubtedly welcome the first-ever references to fossil fuels and coal in a COP agreement, governments are still not doing enough to show coal the door. Coal no longer makes sense financially or environmentally. The Glasgow agreement gives a let-out to unproven CCS technology. We note that the announcement “consigning coal to history” – while including some new major markets – did not include major producers in the form of China, Japan, the US and Australia.
“One of the under-recognised announcements at the COP was the creation of the Glasgow Breakthroughs, an initiative supported by all the major country emitters to make clean energy technologies accessible and low cost for carbon-intensive sectors such as steel. We welcome this drive for innovation. As our research over the last 12 months has highlighted, tipping points on wind and solar energy are here now: financial markets are waking up to this reality. All governments need to do likewise.
“Comparable and relevant corporate disclosures of climate-aligned business pathways are also essential if we are to progress. These will be made possible by the formation of an International Sustainability Standards Board. Conversely, disclosure of the financial impacts of the energy transition in audited financial statements, while already required, are not being provided today. Without this, investors cannot effectively engage and vote on existing investments or allocate new capital. Moreover, much needed private finance objectives envisioned by global coalitions such as the Glasgow Finance Alliance for Net Zero will be significantly harder to achieve.”