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Famous Economist: Divest From Fossil Fuels Before Paris Climate Change Talks

The famous French economist Thomas Piketty has issued a public call for investors to divest from fossil fuels ahead of the upcoming Paris climate change talks, according to recent reports.

Accompanied by the economist Tim Jackson, Piketty wrote an open letter arguing that divestment was a necessity as the fossil fuel industry’s business model is “at odds with physical realities.”

coal

For those who don’t know, the Paris climate change talks in question, the COP21 talks, are set to begin at the end of the month; and will see around 200 different countries from around the world negotiate a deal to limit greenhouse gas emissions for the post-2020 years. The aim is to try to avert catastrophic climate change.

The recent open letter, published in the Guardian, contained this: “This is a rare and decisive moment in history. Science, ethics, and economics, are intersecting to form a clear market signal: in the lead up to the COP21 climate talks, responsible investors should divest from fossil fuels.”

“Set against a backdrop of record-­breaking climatic extremes and weather events, capital continues to flow into the exploration and future extraction of dirty energy. Those investments are wagers on a future in which vast potentials of carbon reserves are available to be processed – a bet against the public’s well­being.”

Strong words. Though, if anything, ones that undersell just how dangerous the situation/issue really is.

“At a time when the fossil fuel industry should be shifting their businesses to focus on renewable energy they are doing the opposite, doubling down on coal, oil and gas … Meanwhile, clean, carbon-­free energy is rapidly becoming cost­-competitive with dirty energy. These recent political and market shifts are all being driven forward by a dramatic shift in the social zeitgeist. Climate change is now a primary social concern.”

Image: coal, via Shutterstock

 
Written By

James Ayre's background is predominantly in geopolitics and history, but he has an obsessive interest in pretty much everything. After an early life spent in the Imperial Free City of Dortmund, James followed the river Ruhr to Cofbuokheim, where he attended the University of Astnide. And where he also briefly considered entering the coal mining business. He currently writes for a living, on a broad variety of subjects, ranging from science, to politics, to military history, to renewable energy. You can follow his work on Google+.

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