The latest green craze: fossil-fuel divestment

Being the politico that I am, when I hear the word divestment, I am quickly reminded of the efforts by the anti-Semites in the Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions movement to urge companies, governments, colleges and universities across the world to divest, boycott and sanction the state of Israel. Obviously taking a page from their fellow Leftists, the environmentalist movement is furthering a divestment scheme to urge the same parties the anti-Israel BDSers are lobbying to sell their shares in companies that use fossil fuels.

According to the Australia Broadcasting Company (ABC) this idea is taking traction Down Under. The Rockefeller Brothers fund announced at a recent UN climate summit meeting that it was divesting from fossil fuel producing companies and will divert the funds to invest in renewable energy sources. Not surprisingly, even Christian denominations have jumped on board in which the fossil fuel divestment has gained the blessing of the Anglican Diocese of Perth. While Australia National University announced it would no longer invest in up to seven companies, the ones ANU got out of had no relation to fossil fuels. Even New South Wales’ government got on board by having it’s retirement fund sell its $25 million worth of shares in coal companies and direct the funds to uranium related investments on the theory that governments will turn to nuclear power so as to reduce greenhouse gasses.

Despite these notable moves, the entities involved in fossil fuel divestment are setting themselves up for a fall. Back in June, CNBC reported that the green energy sector is very volatile in which green tech stocks went from producing a 33 percent in a year’s period, they dived to 3 percent. In March, author Steve Goreham pointed out in a commentary published in Communities Digital News reports overall, the clean tech sector is in a state of rapid decline. The entire sector was propped up by government subsidies in which now those subsidies are about to go by the wayside. Goreham’s commentary states:

European nations have been retreating from green energy for the last four years. Spain slashed solar subsidies in 2009 and photovoltaic sales fell 80 percent in a single year. Germany cut subsidies in 2011 and 2012 and the number of jobs in the German solar industry dropped by 50 percent. Renewable subsidy cuts in the Czech Republic, Greece, Italy, Netherlands, and the United Kingdom added to the cascade. The RENIXX Renewable Energy Index fell below 200 in 2012, down 90 percent from the 2008 peak.

Once a climate change leader, Germany turned to coal after the 2012 decision to close nuclear power plants. Coal now provides more than 50 percent of Germany’s electricity and 23 new coal-fired power plants are planned. Global energy from coal has grown by 4.4 percent per year over the last ten years.

Spending on renewables is in decline. From a record $318 billion in 2011, world renewable energy spending fell to $280 billion in 2012 and then fell again to $254 billion in 2013, according to Bloomberg. The biggest drop occurred in Europe, where investment plummeted 41 percent last year. The 2013 expiration of the US Production Tax Credit for wind energy will continue the downward momentum.

Today, wind and solar provide less than one percent of global energy. While these sources will continue to grow, it’s likely they will deliver only a tiny amount of the world’s energy for decades to come. Renewable energy output may have peaked, at least as a percentage of global energy production.

The campaign to divest from Israel is (rightly) losing popularity due to the obvious anti-Semitic basis of the group’s efforts. This green campaign to divest of fossil-fuel related investments will fail too and, hopefully, the movement behind it will disappear along with it. It will fail because entities that divest are putting money in other areas in hopes of changes in the market and, like the environmentalists and their policies, they are morally bankrupt and produce nothing. I would hate to be the premier of New South Wales’ government having to explain why the state employee retirement plan lost money due to bad investment decisions.