Updated: Aug 2
July 2023 was the hottest month in more than 120,000 years of recorded history. Heat waves scorched large parts of Europe, North America and Asia. Heat-related wildfires raged in Canada, the US and Southern Europe. As UN chief António Guterres put it, "The era of global warming has ended; the era of global boiling has arrived."
The IPCC is clear: greenhouse gas emissions have caused that warming, and there is no way to avoid reaching 1.5 degrees of warming - the Paris 2015 limit goal - without ramping down fossil fuel consumption.
CO2 emissions are growing exponentially.
The total amount of fossil carbon extracted in the last 30 years exceeds the total amount extracted during all prior human history, and there are no signs that greenhouse gas emissions are about to fall. Global coal demand is set to remain at record levels in 2023.
Fossil Fuel Subsidies are obviously not helping. The IAEA has estimated governments subsidised consumption of fossil fuels at $1 trillion in 2022.
The role of Banks
Banks and portfolios must divest from fossil fuels. This cannot wait.
In the UK, Prime Minister Rishi Sunak announced a plan to authorise more than 100 new licences for oil and gas drilling in the North Sea.
Green party MP Caroline Lucas warned of the impact on the UK’s attempts to bolster the achievements of Cop26. “New North Sea oil and gas developments send out totally the wrong signals both to UK businesses and consumers and the wider world,” she said.