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November 24, 2023

Editor’s note: oil and gas sector is a ‘marginal force at best’, says IEA

LNG tanker in port
The IEA says that oil and gas companies make up just 1% of global clean energy investment and is urging the sector to step up in ‘helping the world meet its climate goals’ (Photo: Clement Mahoudeau/AFP via Getty Images)

The latest edition of our Sustainable Views newsletter

Dear reader,

We’re expecting a muted Black Friday in the UK today. PwC expects spending to drop by almost a quarter to £5.6bn here, citing a lack of interest among older generations and a lack of money among the young. 

We can’t help but suspect that growing sustainability concerns are playing their part in this waning interest, although we’re not going to judge those that hit the aisles on Black Friday. It’s tough out there, the cost of everything has gone through the roof, and for some, discounts will be the only affordable way to bring a bit of joy to their families as we enter the holiday season.

Save your wrath instead for the companies whose carbon emissions – and lobbying activities – are edging the planet towards the brink. French banks have pushed back on the inclusion of the finance sector within the EU’s Corporate Sustainability Due Diligence Directive. This opposition is puzzling, one expert tells Philippa, because France already has its own due diligence law. 

The European Central Bank firmly believes that the finance sector should be included in the CSDDD. “In the absence of clear reasons to the contrary, which I fail to see, financial undertakings should not be treated differently from other companies,” says Frank Elderson, a member of the executive board and vice-chair of the supervisory board of the ECB, words unminced in a speech delivered on November 14.

The oil and gas sector, meanwhile, is the subject of a new report from the International Energy Agency, which describes the industry as a “marginal force at best in transitioning to a clean energy system”. It points out that oil and gas companies make up just 1 per cent of global clean energy investment and urges the sector to step up.

“The industry needs to commit to genuinely helping the world meet its energy needs and climate goals, which means letting go of the illusion that implausibly large amounts of carbon capture are the solution,” says IEA executive director Fatih Birol.

As ever, we round off the week with our summary of ESG policy and regulation news from around the world, as well as our most-read articles from the past few days, plus a suggestion from the team.

Have a good weekend,


Alex Janiaud is senior investment correspondent at Sustainable Views


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