LONDON (Reuters Breakingviews) - If anyone should have a good handle on how to properly manage the transition to a low-carbon world, it’s Daniel Yergin. The prize-winning author knows both the traditional hydrocarbon industries and the wider energy business inside out. So it’s disappointing that his latest tome, “The New Map”, does not come with clearer signposts.
LONDON (Reuters Breakingviews) - Bernard Looney’s big moment has come. Over the next three days rival oil majors will be tuning in to hear the BP chief executive set out how the company’s pivot to renewable energy is going to work. The answer may not be totally reassuring: while credible, Looney’s plan resembles a high-wire balancing act.
LONDON (Reuters Breakingviews) - Simon Thompson is in a tricky position. Rio Tinto’s, chairman attempted last month to draw a line under the company’s disastrous decision to blow up Aboriginal heritage sites to make way for iron ore mines. It didn’t work. With shareholders pushing for something tougher than axing Chief Executive Jean-Sebastien Jacques’ 2020 bonus and a chunk of his long-term incentive plan, a bigger sacrifice is needed.
LONDON (Reuters Breakingviews) - Hydrogen is the energy buzzword of the moment. The chemical element could play a key role in the global push to produce carbon-free energy. That appeal is already evident in the toppy valuations of some of the industry’s main participants. Yet it’s still a lottery worth playing.
LONDON (Reuters Breakingviews) - Climate change refuseniks are on borrowed time. BNP Paribas Asset Management on Wednesday launched a fund that will hedge its investments in companies embracing the energy transition by shorting those doing the opposite. It’s a trend that should become more and more prevalent.
LONDON (Reuters Breakingviews) - BlackRock’s green pivot now comes with hard numbers. The $6.5 trillion asset manager said on Tuesday it voted over the past 12 months against 53 companies it deemed to be dragging their feet on climate change. That’s an improvement on the six firms that earned BlackRock’s opprobrium the previous year – and is better aligned with Chief Executive Larry Fink’s call to environmental arms in January. But BlackRock’s own oversight record also requires monitoring.
LONDON (Reuters Breakingviews) - Britain’s transition to a zero-carbon future is experiencing growing pains. National energy regulator Ofgem said on Thursday it was halving the returns it would allow energy companies to make from operating gas and electricity infrastructure up to 2026. Its stance is understandable, but problematic.
LONDON (Reuters Breakingviews) - China and Britain are increasingly at loggerheads. Beijing is unhappy with Britain’s decision to offer up to 3 million Hong Kong citizens the right to live and work in the United Kingdom. Meanwhile, Prime Minister Boris Johnson looks increasingly likely to ban equipment made by China’s Huawei Technologies from British 5G mobile networks. The two countries’ collaboration on nuclear power stations could be the next flashpoint.
LONDON (Reuters Breakingviews) - Oil majors’ growing Atlantic divide has an interesting valuation quirk. American energy giants Exxon Mobil and Chevron are lagging further behind European rivals Royal Dutch Shell, BP and Total in embracing the pivot away from hydrocarbons. Yet investors seem keener on the transition tortoises than hares.
LONDON (Reuters Breakingviews) - Liverpool FC has reached the promised land. The UK soccer club, which dominated English football in the 1980s but then went into prolonged decline, on Thursday finally won the national Premier League after three decades. Unlike manager Juergen Klopp, who has now secured all the most prestigious titles he could win with Liverpool, the club’s finances have one more peak to climb.