Speaking to a group of international bankers who specialize in financing green energy schemes, former Vice President Al Gore promised “The entities responsible for emitting an endless stream of greenhouse gas pollution, and their investors, will be held accountable.”
The Green Swan Conference was sponsored by the Bank for International Settlements, Bank of France and the International Monetary Fund.
According to the South China Morning Post, Gore told the assembled bankers the world has finally reached the threshold where disaster could overtake the planet.
“We have finally reached the long-awaited tipping point where we will have the political will needed to finally turn the tide of this crisis,” said the former US Vice-President and chairman of Generation Investment Management, a financial services firm with US$37 billion in assets. “This decade is unquestionably the most important of our careers.”
Critics of Gore, however point out that he has a long track record of saying that the world has reached a tipping point on global warming.
“The Armageddon scenario he predicts, insofar as it suggests that sea level rises of seven metres might occur in the immediate future, is not in line with the scientific consensus,” said British High Court in 2007.
Gore told the conference that the key to the future of green energy is in shareholder activism.
He cited that recent rebellions by shareholders in Exxon and Chevron, that saw both companies lose board seats to candidates that are more friendly to green business strategies.
The upstarts also found support from a large institutional shareholders who are disappointed with the return on investment by the fossil fuel companies.
On the same day, a Dutch court ordered oil giant Shell to cut carbon emissions by 45% by 2030.
“Three turning-point moments for the oil and gas industry happening all on the same day and were influenced by the intersection of activism and investing,” said Gore.
To paraphrase the late Rudi Dornbusch: change takes longer than you think it will, but then it happens faster than you thought it could.
Today, fossil fuel companies got a big wake up call! The time to change is now. Keep up the pressure. It’s working! https://t.co/AYrYPsktzX
— Al Gore (@algore) May 26, 2021
Other alarmists agree.
“Finance is really the key to unlocking the climate puzzle,” said Scott Moore, director of the University of Pennsylvania’s Global China Programme, speaking to the conference.
Previously, Moore helped negotiate the Paris Climate Accord while working for the U.S. State Department.