Climate reparations dead in the water as US Republicans say ‘No way’


By: - Climate DepotNovember 22, 2022 9:47 AM

https://mailchi.mp/4456aa2e366e/climate-reparations-dead-in-the-water-192659?e=0b1369f9f8

Net Zero Samizdat

22 November 2022

1) Climate reparations dead in the water as US Republicans say ‘No way’

2) UN declaration calls for as much as $10 trillion a year to meet climate targets
Jack McEvoy, Daily Caller, 21 November 2022

3) Green Britain: UK economy to suffer biggest hit from energy crisis among G7 nations
Metro News, 22 November 20224) Green Britain: Government to hit squeezed middle class with higher energy prices for a decade
The Times, 21 November 2022

5) Venezuela on Thames: Shell reconsiders £25bn investment in UK energy over windfall tax raid
The Daily Telegraph, 22 November 2022

6) European industry exodus to US looms, driven by green handouts and cheaper gas prices
Financial Times, 20 November 2022

7) Paul Driessen: COP-27 financiers and merchants of death 
Eurasia Review, 22 November 2022

8) WSJ: Biden signs up for climate reparations
Editorial, The Wall Street Journal, 20 November 2022
9) Irina Slac: How Europe’s energy crisis could turn into a food crisis
OilPrice.com, 20 November 2022
10) Paul Homewood: FTX’s crypto ponzi scam was also a green scam
Net Zero Watch, 18 November 2022

1) Climate reparations dead in the water as US Republicans say ‘No way’
The Washington Times, 21 November 2022

Liberals and conservatives are criticizing a U.N.-backed deal supported by the Biden administration for richer nations to pay reparations to poorer countries for the impacts of climate change.

Attendees of the COP27 climate summit held in Egypt went into overtime last weekend to establish a global “loss and damage” fund. The historic initiative calls for wealthier nations like the U.S. and its allies in Europe to compensate poorer nations that have been most affected by climate change but are among the lowest emitters of greenhouse gases.

The agreement has frustrated the political left and right alike in the U.S.

Climate hawks argue the agreement failed to go far enough because it did not call for phasing out all fossil fuels — only reiterating that the world should wean itself from coal. They also say it delayed many of the thornier decisions, such as how the fund would work and how much should be paid, until next year’s annual conference.

The U.S. and other developed countries have failed to meet a prior pledge to provide $100 billion per year.

Michael Sheldrick of the climate change and poverty advocacy group Global Citizen questioned whether the money will ever come to fruition.

“We have to ask ourselves: how credible are any new commitments, given the failure to make progress in other key areas? How can we take any of these new commitments seriously given promises that continue to go unmet?” Mr. Sheldrick said in a statement. “COP27 seems to retract on the $100 billion pledge in climate finance, a promise already broken two years in a row.”

Conservatives, meanwhile, suggested it amounted to an international slush fund for richer nations to fork over tens of billions of dollars each year to developing countries.

“Simply put, the United States can’t pay. We could give a few billion dollars now and then, but we’re $31 trillion in debt and face trillion dollar-per-year deficits for the foreseeable future,” said Alex Flint, executive director of the right-leaning economic climate group Alliance for Market Solutions. “Even if we were willing to pay, we simply don’t have the resources, or at least enough to reasonably compensate damages.”

Diana Furchtgott‑Roth, an energy analyst at the conservative Heritage Foundation and former Department of Transportation official in the Trump administration, argued the deal only further hamstrings poorer countries. As part of a broader agreement, wealthy nations want commitments from poorer ones to slash emissions to help meet the goal of limiting global temperature increases.

“The West should be encouraging all countries to use the most efficient forms of energy,” Ms. Furchtgott‑Roth said. “They can’t get to Western levels of living without conventional fuels: oil, natural gas, coal, nuclear. For us to have these standards of living and then say to other countries ‘you can’t have them’ is selfish and oblivious to the situations these low-income countries are in.”

President Biden has pledged that the U.S. would give $11 billion per year in international climate aid by 2024. But Congress controls the purse strings, not the White House.

The U.S. gave an average of $2.2 billion annually between 2015 and 2018, and a Democratic-controlled Congress earlier this year included $1 billion in foreign climate aid.

With Republicans taking control of the House in January, it’s likely those contributions would be slashed, not increased by more than fourfold.

The Biden administration “probably won’t have much luck with Republicans — and even many Democrats — on that topic in light of the economic challenges facing the U.S.,” Frank Maisano, senior principal at the Washington-based lobbying firm Bracewell, wrote in a note to reporters last week.

2) UN declaration calls for as much as $10 trillion a year to meet climate targets
Jack McEvoy, Daily Caller, 21 November 2022

“The endless search for climate trillions will go on for decades to come,” Net Zero Watch Director Benny Peiser said.

The United Nations COP27 climate plan calls on nations to spend eight to ten trillion dollars annually to invest in green energy and rapidly reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

Governments, central banks, commercial banks and investors will have to spend $4 to $6 trillion annually to create a global “low-carbon economy,” according to the COP27 Implementation Plan. Furthermore, the document claims $4 trillion per year needs to be invested in renewable energy by 2030 in order to reach “net zero emissions” by 2050.

“Of course, all these numbers are just pulled out of thin air,” Energy and Environmental Legal Institute senior legal fellow Steve Milloy told the Daily Caller News Foundation. “If ‘net zero’ was even possible, you can bet that the actual cost would be even higher … these numbers likely assume perfect efficiency in swapping fossil fuels for wind/solar.”

The UN argues that the global temperature cannot increase 1.5 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels to ensure that the planet is livable. The Paris Climate Agreement thus states that countries should slash emissions by 45% by no later than 2030 and ensure that they produce as few emissions as possible by 2050.

The plan also calls on developed countries to provide over $5.8 trillion before 2030 to help developing countries adapt to climate change and fund renewable energy projects in poorer nations. Nearly 200 nations reached an agreement to establish a financial framework at the COP27 meeting, whereby wealthy nations like the U.S. would pay developing nations in order to compensate them for historical “loss and damage,” allegedly caused by richer nations’ emissions, according to a draft document.

“The endless search for climate trillions will go on for decades to come,” Net Zero Watch Director Benny Peiser told the DCNF. “It’s an apocalyptic cult that is going in circles: they have been meeting for 30 years and have utterly failed to achieve the main objective – slowing, never mind, halting CO2 emissions.”

The UN Framework Convention on Climate Change did not immediately respond to the Daily Caller News Foundation’s request for comment.

3) Green Britain: UK economy to suffer biggest hit from energy crisis among G7 nations
Metro News, 22 November 2022

The UK economy will contract more than any of the world’s seven most advanced nations next year, a new report has found.

Britain is predicted to continue to suffer from painful inflation exacerbated by worker shortages and ‘untargeted’ energy support.

Gloomy forecasts from the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) reveal a sharp downgrade for the country’s economy.

It is expected to shrink by 0.4% in 2023 and grow by just 0.2% in 2024.

In the new report, the OECD took aim at the UK Government’s support efforts to cap energy bills at around £2,500 until April.

Experts say doing so will push up inflation and mean households and businesses will be hit by higher interest rates as a result as policymakers look to rein in price and wage rises.

The OECD said: ‘The untargeted Energy Price Guarantee announced in September 2022 by the Government will increase pressure on already high inflation in the short term, requiring monetary policy to tighten more and raising debt service costs.

‘Better targeting of measures to cushion the impact of high energy prices would lower the budgetary cost, better-preserve incentives to save energy, and reduce the pressure on demand at a time of high inflation.’

Full story

4) Green Britain: Government to hit squeezed middle class with higher energy prices for a decade
The Times, 21 November 2022

Subsidised energy bills for poorer people are being considered by ministers, who say the middle classes should expect higher gas prices for the rest of the decade.

Jeremy Hunt, the chancellor, is considering introducing “social tariffs”, which would offer means-tested rates when the price guarantee ends in 2024.

Last week he said the £2,500 average price cap would be raised to £3,000 in April. From next year Hunt is also spending £14 billion on grants to poorer households and the Treasury is determined to find a cheaper option from April 2024. This is likely to result in a big jump in bills for higher earners.

Full story

5) Venezuela on Thames: Shell reconsiders £25bn investment in UK energy over windfall tax raid
The Daily Telegraph, 22 November 2022

Shell is reviewing plans to invest £25bn in Britain’s energy system after Jeremy Hunt raided the industry for £55bn in windfall taxes.

David Bunch, Shell’s UK chairman, said the expanded levy announced in the Chancellor’s Autumn Statement is forcing the company to re-examine a slew of projects in the pipeline, from North Sea investments to renewable energy schemes.

Mr Bunch told The Telegraph this meant Shell “cannot take it for granted” that the full investment plan will still go ahead.

His comments are a blow to Mr Hunt and Rishi Sunak, the Prime Minister, as they face criticism that last week’s Autumn Statement did not include enough measures to spur economic growth.

Mr Hunt increased the so-called energy profits levy on North Sea oil and gas producers from 25pc to 35pc, while also announcing it would be in place until 2028 rather than 2025, adding £19.4bn to the existing bill. The Chancellor also hit wind farms and other electricity generators, which have also benefited from higher energy prices, with a new levy expected to raise £14.2bn over the same period.

In his speech to the Confederation of British Industry’s annual conference on Monday, the Prime Minister defended the Autumn Statement and insisted that the Budget had restored confidence and stability.

He acknowledged there was “more we need to do” but said the Government’s decision to protect spending on research and development would boost innovation, calling on businesses to step up investment as well.

However, speaking at the same event, Mr Bunch warned that the expansion of the windfall tax threatened to “chill” investment in the North Sea and that Shell itself was now reconsidering a range of projects as a result.

Full story

6) European industry exodus to US looms, driven by green handouts and cheaper gas prices
Financial Times, 20 November 2022

Politicians warn of investment exodus across Atlantic, driven by US incentives and cheaper gas prices. The Biden administration’s most senior trade official told the FT that the EU should introduce more subsidies.

Northvolt, Europe’s great hope in the global battery wars, began life as a start-up focused on the continent. Now the Swedish group, backed by Volkswagen, BMW and Goldman Sachs, is looking to the US to expand production.

The reason for the pivot is the Inflation Reduction Act (IRA). The US’s flagship green technology legislation, signed into law in August, would subsidise a factory in America by about $600mn-$800mn, according to Northvolt. That compares to €155mn in incentives on the table from Germany.

The IRA “is moving momentum a lot from Europe to the US”, Northvolt chief executive Peter Carlsson told the Financial Times, adding that it was not only affecting European companies. “There are new Asian players who are reallocating their strategic plans and investments to North America,” he said.

The combination of the Biden Administration’s $369bn package and high energy costs in Europe, where even after recent declines gas prices remain five times more expensive than in North America, is sounding alarm bells in EU capitals.

“I think we need a European wake-up on this point,” French president Emmanuel Macron told executives from domestic industrial companies such as glassmaker Saint-Gobain and cement maker Lafarge in a speech last week.

Germany’s economy minister, Robert Habeck, described the US support as “excessive” and “hoovering up investments from Europe”.

The EU has accused Washington of breaching World Trade Organization rules and set up a task force with the Biden administration to resolve their differences. It has asked for changes to nine provisions in the legislation involving subsidy programmes totalling $231bn, arguing they create a “race to the bottom” on handouts to business.

Brussels estimates the EU needs to boost annual investment by €520bn in the coming decade to meet its carbon reduction and environmental protection objectives.

While the IRA affects manufacturers in fields ranging from advanced machinery to heavy industry, EU executives are particularly concerned about the impact on the automotive sector. Only electric cars substantially made with parts from North America and assembled there will qualify for a $7,500 tax discount for consumers.

Europe is home to more than one-quarter of global EV production, and 20 per cent of the supply chain, according to the International Energy Agency. The US has just 10 per cent of EV production and 7 per cent of battery production capacity.

Luisa Santos, deputy director-general at BusinessEurope, a pan-European lobby group, said the US legislation had sent a “dangerous signal” that could encourage other jurisdictions to take protectionist measures.

Yet far from offering to extend the break to EU vehicles, Katherine Tai, the Biden administration’s most senior trade official, told the FT that the EU should introduce more subsidies.

Full story

7) Paul Driessen: COP-27 financiers and merchants of death 
Eurasia Review, 22 November 2022

It’s not just energy the eco-totalitarians want to obstruct in Africa and other developing regions. It’s also modern fertilizers — indeed, all aspects of modern agriculture – everything that can actually help farmers feed hungry people.

As Americans give thanks this week for our many blessings, let us recall the Pilgrims’ and Native Americans’ primitive agricultural knowledge and technologies, the hunger and disease that were constants in their lives – and how so many around the world are not much better off today.

Much of Africa still lives on the edge, with well over 600 million people not even having electricity. Many parts of India, Asia and Latin America also face serious energy and food deprivation.

Incredibly, so does Europe. “German industry stares into the Net Zero abyss,” “Europe’s energy crisis may get even worse next year,” “Even Germany’s wind industry is sliding into crisis,” “Millions face poverty and destitution in Green Britain, as Brits pay highest electricity bills in world,” headlines warn.

Banning Russian gas imports amid Putin’s war on Ukraine plays a role and is frequently scapegoated. But the primary cause is Europe’s love affair with intermittent wind and solar, and hate-fest for fossil fuels and nuclear, amid frigid winter realities that have caused Germany to obliterate ancient villages and recent-vintage wind farms to mine lignite coal beneath them.

Closer to home, New England and New York also face a cold, dark winter, because they too have voted against drilling, fracking, pipelines, coal and nuclear power – and now demand more oil and gas from the same companies that they and President Biden want to drive into oblivion.

However, the greatest hypocrisy of all was on full-throated display at the COP-27 climate circus in Egypt November 6-18 – where attendees kept asking whether Africa should be allowed to exploit its oil, natural gas and coal reserves to improve living standards, feed families and save lives!

Al Gore preached that fossil fuel investments should be terminated worldwide, including in Africa. UN Secretary General António Guterres absurdly asserted that “New funding for fossil fuel exploration and production is delusional” and will only “feed the scourge of war, pollution and climate catastrophe” (the manmade cataclysms found in computer models and COP-27 rants, though not in the Real World).

At the COP-27 climate gabfest in Sham-El-Sheikhdown, Egypt, John Kerry said African nations shouldn’t rely on natural gas to generate electricity and modernize. (Kerry has five houses, a yacht and private jet – but that’s OK because they’re in his wife’s name, and he merely “makes use of them.”)

Even worse, it’s not just energy these arrogant eco-totalitarians want to obstruct in Africa and other developing regions. It’s also modern fertilizers — indeed, all aspects of modern agriculture – everything that can actually help farmers feed hungry people and make enough money to build a home or barn, send their children to school, and buy tractors and other equipment.
They don’t even want Africa producing natural gas and using it to make nitrogen fertilizer, which dramatically boosts crop yields and is absolutely essential if the world is to feed eight billion people – especially without turning millions more acres of wildlife habitat into marginal croplands.

Poor countries are no long going to tolerate this outrageous, intolerable, racist neo-colonialism. Nor should they, especially when they realize now-rich countries are on the verge of de-industrialization and bankruptcy – and have neither the intention nor ability to shell out billions, much less trillions, of dollars in annual “reparation, loss and damage” payments for alleged impacts from manmade climate change.

So when the UN, now-rich countries and eco-pressure groups tell them there’ll be no financing for fossil fuels and modern agriculture – only for wind and solar energy, organic farming and “AgroEcology” – poor countries should just tell these purveyors of poverty, hunger, disease and death to buzz off. That would leave poor countries largely on their own.

But they have numerous advantages that their predecessors lacked: access to the incredible energy, agricultural, industrial, economic, medical, communication and other advances of recent centuries, especially during the fossil-fueled industrial era.

They simply need to chart their own destinies and utilize these advances. Every project they undertake will generate new wealth, innovation and self-confidence to undertake subsequent projects.

Full post

8) Biden signs up for climate reparations
Editorial, The Wall Street Journal, 20 November 2022

The U.S. and Europe are conceding the principle that their emissions cause climate damage even though there isn’t a definitive link between rising CO2 levels and natural disasters.

The use of climate policy to soak Americans keeps getting worse, and the United Nation’s climate conference in Egypt ended this weekend with agreement on a new fund to pay reparations to poor countries. Welcome to the latest climate shakedown.

Poor countries have long sought to force wealthy countries to pay for the “loss and damage” they suffer from natural disasters that are supposedly climate-related. This is separate from the $100 billion a year that rich countries have promised to help poor countries reduce emissions and adapt to climate change.

The 2015 Paris accord suggested rich countries compensate poor countries for climate damage—the rationale being that industrialization has increased temperatures and led to natural disasters. Poor countries finally forced discussion of a formal mechanism to pay climate reparations onto this year’s U.N. conference agenda.

John Kerry, the U.S. climate envoy, dismissed the idea earlier this month: “It’s a well-known fact that the United States and many other countries will not establish . . . some sort of legal structure that is tied to compensation or liability. That’s just not happening.” But on Thursday Europe abandoned the U.S. by proposing a deal, and Mr. Kerry rolled over.

Wealthy countries will now set up a fund to cover climate damage for the least developed countries—i.e., not China or middle-income nations. This will be financed from “a broad donor base” and “mosaic of solutions,” such as international development banks and taxes on aviation, shipping and fossil fuels.

Europe hopes this will induce poor countries to reduce emissions to meet the Paris target of limiting global warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius compared to pre-industrial levels. The world has already warmed by 1.1 degrees, and a U.N. report last month estimated temperatures would rise 1.8 degrees even if Western countries meet their “net-zero” goals.

But China emits two-thirds more CO2 than Europe and the U.S. combined. Coal accounts for 60% of China’s power generation, and more new coal plants are set for approval through 2025 than the entire existing U.S. fleet. China says it needs more coal power for energy security and, unlike Europe and the U.S., it won’t commit climate suicide.

In return for climate reparations, Mr. Kerry tried to force an agreement to phase down “unabated” fossil fuels. Low-income countries understandably refused since doing so would consign their citizens to poverty. The Biden climate agenda has increased energy prices in the U.S., and the climate lobby doesn’t mind if this misery spreads around the world.

Details about the reparations fund—such as which countries will pay, how much, and which countries will benefit—will be fleshed out over the next year. Biden officials claim the agreement doesn’t create new liabilities for Americans. But the U.S. and Europe are conceding the principle that their emissions cause climate damage even though there isn’t a definitive link between rising CO2 levels and natural disasters such as the monsoon flooding in Pakistan this year.

All of this ignores the benefits for humanity, rich and poor, that economic growth spurred by capitalism have provided. American taxpayers are being asked to pay because the U.S. industrialized first and then lifted billions of people out of poverty via investment and trade.

House Republicans won’t appropriate money for the fund, but the Administration could tap international development banks that the U.S. funds. Next time Democrats control Congress, they will argue that the U.S. has an obligation to pay reparations, as they argued that the Inflation Reduction Act’s climate spending is necessary to meet the Paris commitments.

Countries might also shake down U.S. fossil-fuel producers in their own courts. Climate reparations will merely serve as another form of global income redistribution. The Biden Administration’s surrender shows again that the religion of climate change is progressive penance for the sin of being prosperous.

9) Irina Slac: How Europe’s energy crisis could turn into a food crisis
OilPrice.com, 20 November 2022

Runaway energy price inflation has wreaked havoc on European industrial activity, with the heaviest consumers taking the brunt. Aluminum and steel smelters are shutting down because of energy costs. Chemical producers are moving to the United States. BASF is planning a permanent downsizing.

There is, however, a bigger problem than all these would constitute for their respective industries. Fertilizer makers are also shutting down their plants. And fertilizer imports are down because the biggest suppliers of fertilizers for Europe were Russia and Belarus, both currently under sanctions.

Both countries have retaliated against the sanctions by cutting off exports of fertilizers to Europe, and European officials repeating that fertilizer exports are not sanctioned is not really helping.

Russia accounts for 45 percent of the global ammonia nitrate supply, according to figures from the Institute for Agriculture and Trade Policy cited by the FT. But it also accounts for 18 percent of the supply of potash—potassium-containing salts that are one of the main gradients of fertilizers—and 14 percent of phosphate exports.

Belarus is a major exporter of fertilizers, too, especially potash. But Belarus has been under EU sanctions since 2021 on human rights allegations, and unlike Russia, it has seen its fertilizer industry targeted by these sanctions. This has made for an unfortunate coincidence for Europe and its food security.

“The value chains were incredibly integrated,” the chief executive of Norway’s Yara International, a fertilizer major, told the FT this week. “When you look at the map — where Europe is, where Russia is, where the locations for natural resources are — these chains have been created over decades. Even during the coldest parts of the cold war, these products kept flowing so business was running. And that all changed radically in the course of a few days.”

Like with gas, although prone to acting before thinking, the EU has started looking for alternative fertilizer supplies. Morocco is one option, Euractiv reported earlier this month, as the country already supplies some 40 percent of Europe’s phosphate. This figure could even increase substantially.

Central Asia is another option, and more specifically, Uzbekistan. Uzbekistan exports fertilizers mostly to Asia and some Middle Eastern countries at the moment, but this may well change after an EU-Central Asia ministerial get-together, which is taking place right now in Uzbekistan.

So, on the one hand, local fertilizer production has been decimated by sky-high energy costs. On the other hand, sanctions have elicited a response from Russia that was probably not expected, although it should have been: exports have been slashed, leaving import-dependent Europe vulnerable to food shocks, and exposing yet another dangerous dependency.

There does not seem to be an immediate solution to the problem, and there may not be for a while. Even if Europe finds sufficient replacements for all Russian and Belarusian fertilizer imports, its bill will swell in a way similar to its gas bill when it switched from Russian pipeline gas to LNG. And this will feed inflation
The Institute for Agriculture and Trade Policy, a sustainable farming advocacy, warned in a recent report that the world is “addicted” to chemical fertilizers. Advocacy aside, however, the report said that fertilizers are getting quite expensive.

“G20 nations paid almost twice as much for key fertiliser imports in 2021 compared to 2020 and are on course to spend three times as much in 2022 — an additional cost of at least US$ 21.8 billion. For example, the UK paid an extra US$ 144 million for fertiliser imports in 2021 and 2022, and Brazil paid an extra US$ 3.5 billion,” it said.
Of course, a big part of this inflation is due to energy cost inflation since fertilizer production is an energy-intensive process. The fact remains that the global food chain, especially its European links, is not in a good place right now.

Russia continues supplying fertilizers to African countries, for example, but African countries haven’t imposed sanctions on Moscow. And Europe can’t really do a U-turn and remove sanctions because that will be the end of any reputation the EU has left.

Someone who subscribes to the IATP’s argument that the world is dangerously addicted to chemicals might see an opportunity in this fertilizer crisis. The Dutch government may actually embrace it as it pushes for a 70-percent reduction of nitrogen emissions from farming—a push that ignited mass farmer protests in the country.

Yet the recent events in Sri Lanka suggest that shaking off the fertilizer dependence might be unwise, especially if done suddenly. In this sense, the fertilizer addiction is as strong as the fossil fuel addiction some say humankind is suffering from. The silver lining is that a crisis prompted by overwhelming dependence on external suppliers could result in becoming less dependent on these suppliers, one way or another.

10) Paul Homewood: FTX’s crypto ponzi scam was also a green scam
Net Zero Watch, 18 November 2022

FTX worked hard on its green image, something its founder now admits was just a con

One of the biggest financial scandals since Bernie Madoff is brewing in the US. A cryptocurrency exchange called FTX collapsed this week, with estimated debtsof $8 billion. It is estimated that up to 1 million creditors could have lost out.

Just as with Madoff, FTX appears to be another massive ponzi scheme, with investors’ money being siphoned out of the business.

FTX was run by Sam Bankman-Fried (SBF), and he transferred at least $4 billion to prop up another of his companies, Alameda Research, which was already in financial trouble after a series of losses from deals.

For the last three years, the 30 year old SBF has been the darling of the woke, famous and powerful. FTX, only set up in 2019, was recently valued at over $30 billion. Tom Brady, Gisele Bunchen, Steph Curry, and other celebrities had advertising and marketing deals with the firm.

He has also been a big contributor to the Democratic Party this year, his $40 million making him the second biggest donor behind George Soros. There are already demands for the Democrats to pay back what is in effect stolen money. (In contrast, the Republicans received only $105,000).

SBF certainly worked hard on his image, setting up the FTX Climate Program, which used investors’ funds to purchase carbon offsets and fund other climate initiatives. He also bragged about how he gave most of his income to good causes, something he now admits was just a front.

As the American Institute for Economic Research put it, “SBF’s humble, geek-chic image (unruly hair, unpretentious attire, driving an unremarkable vehicle) presents a picture of guilelessness. The emergence of a simple figure using cryptocurrency trading to selflessly tackle changing the world was no doubt irresistible to an increasingly left-leaning financial establishment.”

Inevitably, FTX appeared high in the ESG ratings. And this highlights a much wider problem. There are now serious question marks about the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), who failed to anticipate the problems leading to the collapse of FTX, despite many warning signs.

Instead of rooting out fraud, the SEC seems to spend most of its time pursuing its ESG and climate agenda. One of its own Commissioners complained earlier this year that pursuing ESG mandates “distracts us” from “other important work to do,.

Meanwhile companies are increasingly being forced to report on climate risks. The SEC is currently planning to introduce a “climate disclosure” rule, which would require public companies to extensively calculate climate-related data on their operations on a micro level not relevant to most investors’ bottom lines.

As one expert noted, “What the agency is now proposing is to impose substantive environmental regulation thinly disguised as financial reporting. That does not protect investors.” .

Similar climate disclosure rules are already in operation in the UK, being enshrined in law after last year’s COP26, whilst companies are falling over themselves to look good at ESG.

But if the US experience is anything to go by, none of this will be of any benefit to shareholders.