Letter: Investing in energy is the way to get to net zero

Financial Times

In “Third Point blasts Shell’s efforts to walk the green tightrope” (Opinion, November 4) Brooke Masters has delivered the critical messages we will need if we are to have the best chance of achieving global net zero targets.

Third Point and other activists argue for the break-up of integrated energy companies into their legacy fuel and chemicals businesses, and so-called “green arm” operations focused on the future.

Masters notes that at the same time enthusiasm for investment funds that exclude fossil fuel companies, and others that do poorly on environmental, social and governance criteria, appears to have peaked. While this may seem alarming, it hopefully serves as a wake-up call that will lead to serious discussions about how today’s ESG metrics and guidance are performing. It is said that every choice has a consequence. Recently, we have been witnessing the effect of choices, which are less than well thought out.

Reductions in energy investment and implementation of regulations that restrict access to oil and natural gas resources are outpacing the gradual advance of renewable fuels and other energy-related technologies.

It is the reason we are now seeing energy supply shortfalls and higher prices across the globe. It may seem counterintuitive, but it is actually in our interest to support today’s energy demands with our available resources.

Making the choice today to apply balanced, flexible, and aligned approaches to ESG principles can ensure that energy companies continue to attract necessary investment and obtain necessary financing that will allow us to build a bridge from fossil fuels to the net zero models of the future.

Michael J Roman
Senior Fellow, American Council for Capital Formation; President, Certain Point Strategies, Vienna, VA, US