The best of EcoWatch, right in your inbox. Sign up for our email newsletter!
Fossil Fuel Stocks Tumble, Renewable Energy Stocks Soar
Under the agreement, countries have pledged to rapidly reduce greenhouse gas emissions in an effort to keep global warming beneath 1.5 degrees Celsius. And it is clear the fossil fuel industry is feeling the heat.
According to Reuters, "The MAC Global Solar Energy Index was up 4.5 percent. The iShares Global Clean Energy exchange-traded fund, which allows investors to trade a basket of renewable energy stocks, rose 1.4 percent." At the same time, shares of companies that produce coal, Peabody Energy Corp and Consol Energy Inc. plummeted 12.6 percent and 3.3 percent respectively.
Portfolio manager Thiemo Lang of Zurich's RobecoSAM, which owns solar stocks, told Reuters the Paris agreement "will help boost the mid- to long-term fundamentals in renewable energy generation, especially solar, while making any further investments in fossil fuels increasingly vulnerable."
Indeed, the movement to divest from fossil fuels has long-argued that investing in polluting industries is both economically and environmentally unwise. Earlier this month, the campaign announced that investors representing more than $3.4 trillion in total assets have pledged to divest their holdings from fossil fuels.
Environmental campaigners, who say that the Paris agreement falls drastically short of what's needed to actually address the climate crisis, maintained throughout the COP21 climate talks that a just transition to renewable energy must continue if the world has any hope of limiting temperature rise.
"Pace is now the key word for climate," said 350.org co-founder Bill McKibben after the agreement was finalized. "Not where we’re going, but how fast we’re going there. Pace—velocity, speed, rate, momentum, tempo. That’s what matters from here on in."
"We know where we’re going now," he continued. "No one can doubt that the fossil fuel age has finally begun to wane and that the sun is now shining on, well, solar. But the question, the only important question, is: how fast?"
McKibben added that the agreement must serve as a floor, not a ceiling, for change.
YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE
EcoWatch Daily Newsletter
The Centers for Disease Control has emphasized that washing hands with soap and water is one of the most effective measures we can take in preventing the spread of COVID-19. However, millions of Americans in some of the most vulnerable communities face the prospect of having their water shut off during the lockdowns, according to The Guardian.
Aerial photos of the Sierra Nevada — the long mountain range stretching down the spine of California — showed rust-colored swathes following the state's record-breaking five-year drought that ended in 2016. The 100 million dead trees were one of the most visible examples of the ecological toll the drought had wrought.
Now, a few years later, we're starting to learn about how smaller, less noticeable species were affected.
Natthawat / Moment / Getty Images
Disinfectants and cleaners claiming to sanitize against the novel coronavirus have started to flood the market, raising concerns for the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), which threatened legal recourse against retailers selling unregistered products, according to The New York Times.
The global coronavirus pandemic has thrown our daily routine into disarray. Billions are housebound, social contact is off-limits and an invisible virus makes up look at the outside world with suspicion. No surprise, then, that sustainability and the climate movement aren't exactly a priority for many these days.
By Molly Matthews Multedo
Livestock farming contributes to global warming, so eating less meat can be better for the climate.