Opinion: If any investments are likely to be stranded, it is those such as wind and solar, not fossil fuels
Mark Carney is using his final days as governor of the Bank of England to intimidate institutional financial managers by suggesting that investments in conventional energy are high-risk adventures requiring special justification.
However, consideration of the state of the global energy supply over the past 30 years suggests that if anyone has some explaining to do it is Carney himself.
Climate policy failure followed by distressed correction seems more probable than other outcomes, and if any investments are likely to be stranded, it is those such as wind and solar that are in effect wagers on the success of current carbon-reduction strategies.
Carney, who becomes the UN’s special envoy on climate action and finance later this year, seems intent on causing an investment market panic and a consequent stampede out of conventional energy and into renewables. Asked point-blank in a recent interview whether he supported “divestment” from fossil fuels he tactfully evaded the question but nevertheless asserted that coal, oil and gas were insecure assets.
He said any institutional decision-maker preferring to bet on oil, for example, is engaged in a high-risk adventure and must therefore offer special justification for their position.