Some Wall Street Chiefs Warn Against Rising Prices With Climate Promises


David Solomon, CEO of Goldman Sachs, emphasized last month that his firm will continue to fund fossil fuel companies, and failure to do so will result in much higher prices. “We need to balance good public policy with short-term results and so this is a transition.” said. “If we get too aggressive in the context of how we channel capital into the private sector, it can be more inflationary.”

According to supporters of the divestment movement, attributing high energy prices to the effort to reduce financing of fossil fuels is a cynical attempt to undermine what they say is an essential part of the solution to the climate crisis.

“Blaming divestments for high prices and energy shortages is really a red herring,” said Ben Cushing, who runs the Sierra Club’s Fossil-Free Funding campaign. “The reality is that oil and gas are volatile, global commodities, and they exist in a changing global market for many different reasons.”

Henry Fernandez, CEO of MSCI, a financial services company that offers ESG products, argued that financial firms blame environmental and social concerns for high energy prices to excuse lagging performance.

“Asset managers are under pressure not to support oil and gas investments, and they know the transition is difficult, involves risks and can underperform,” he said. “So they’re pointing to the ESG as the culprit so they can take a breather. That’s not what the world needs.”

And yet, fossil fuel production will be with us for years to come, and senior banking executives are adamant that it is in the world’s best interest that major financial firms continue to support it. They say that without investment from large institutional investors, many fossil fuel companies could go private, leading to less transparency and accountability and potentially higher emissions.

“We can’t have simple orders like no more fossil fuels. It’s just not practical,” said Bill Winters, CEO of Standard Chartered. interview Last month with Bloomberg Television. “Unless there is a miraculous technology breakthrough, we will be dependent on fossil fuels for the next 15 or 20 years.”


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