CoI is blind to a 'momentous change in global energy'
If there was one sentence in the Church of Ireland Policy on Climate Change that got my goat it was this one,
The RCB is supportive of public policy to support a diverse energy mix and a transition to a low carbon economy, however, the fact is that fossil fuels will continue to contribute a major component of this energy mix for the foreseeable future and remain one of the most cost efficient methods of energy production.The fact is that electricity from renewables is already cheaper than fossil fuels in some parts of the world. This is outlined in an article in the 26 July 2016 edition of the Financial Times entitled 'Balance of power tilts from fossil fuels to renewable energy.' Here are some quotes,
there are momentous changes under way in the global energy system, undermining received wisdom in the sector. It is clear that the world is shifting toward renewables and — as a proportion of total consumption — away from oil, gas and coal.After reading about 'momentous changes' the Climate Change Policy seems blind to the energy shift. But surely this transition will happen gradually over the next, say, 50 years? The article addresses the speed of transition between forms of energy, for example from coal to oil after the Second World War, or the growth of nuclear during the oil crisis of the early 70s. It concludes,
the elements are being put in place for what could be a quite sudden and far-reaching energy transition, which could be triggered by an unexpected and sustained surge in oil prices. If China or India were to make large-scale policy commitments to electric vehicles, they would have a dramatic impact on the outlook for oil demand.So, are Church of Ireland investments in fossil fuel energy companies safe? The RCB would be wise to reduce its holdings in fossil fuels pretty soon. It should also start the read the financial press more often.