By Rachel Koning Beals
Being caught wrongfooted on the transition to renewable energy will be a painful blunder for investors. In fact, the traditional fossil-fuel market is forming a bubble that will hurt the most vulnerable companies, former Vice President Al Gore said at the Glasgow climate summit Wednesday.
“We now have a subprime carbon bubble of $22 trillion, based on an absurd assumption that all of those carbon fuels are going to be burned,” Gore said in an interview on Bloomberg Television. “They’re not going to be, especially because the new renewable sources of electricity are much cheaper now.”
Gore, who is chairman of Generation Investment Management LLP, said once the risks are “internalized,” then “it’s going to affect the value of all these assets.”
Gore spoke as the third day of the U.N.’s COP26 climate conference turned to financial issues.
“I think we’re in the early stages of a sustainability revolution that’s the biggest opportunity in history,” the creator of the 2006 climate documentary “An Inconvenient Truth” told Bloomberg. “And those who don’t recognize that and adapt to it are in commercial risk. They’re going to be left behind.”
The U.S. Oil Fund ETF /zigman2/quotes/203483736/composite USO +0.69% is up 44% in the year to date. The Energy Select Sector SPDR ETF /zigman2/quotes/206420077/composite XLE +1.31% is up 32% so far in 2021 and the SPDR S&P Oil & Gas Exploration & Production ETF /zigman2/quotes/203527521/composite XOP +1.05% is up 38% over the same stretch.
The iShares Global Clean Energy ETF /zigman2/quotes/205740995/composite ICLN +3.39% is down roughly 14% so far in 2021.