How technology will trump Trump

Climate disruption

Screenshot 2015-12-23 09.29.46 A message from Preventable Surprises Chair Carolyn Hayman

No one really knows what a Trump presidency will be like. Given his ‘man of action’ positioning, we may find out soon. But it’s unlikely to help the world reach its Paris commitments of keeping warming below 2°C.

But as we’ve begun to focus on the demand side of the fossil fuel market, particularly power utilities, it’s clear that technology is going to trump Trump. Domestic photovoltaics plus storage are likely to be cost competitive with fossil fuel generation within a small number of years, and attempts to hold back the renewables industry in the US will only hand a commercial advantage to Europe, where most countries are already embarked on the transition. China, where air pollution and competitive advantage are combining to drive the transition, is also forging ahead. China decarbonised faster than any other G20 country in 2015.

Hence, we at Preventable Surprises continue to believe that it’s in investors’ interests to support a transition to a low carbon world in the power utilities that they own, and we will soon be producing guidance that explains why. The election has changed many things, but it hasn’t changed the need for investors to actively address systemic risks arising from climate change.


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