Readers respond to the report revealing the 20 biggest polluters responsible for a third of all global carbon emissions
Your article (Revealed: the 20 firms behind a third of all global carbon emissions, 10 October) highlights the biggest polluters and contributors to the climate crisis over the last half-century – the “uncooperative crusties” of capitalism. It is these companies that are standing in the way of progress. But we shouldn’t just look at the carbon they have pumped into the atmosphere, but also the money – our money, in banks and pension funds – that they have invested and the power that huge amount of capital gives them. They can choose to either transform their businesses into something positive for the planet or to extend the shelf life of a carbon-based business model well past its best-before date.
This week, the Treasury select committee asked me, ShareAction and the UK Sustainable Investment and Finance Association what investors can do about the oil and gas industry. My answer was that we need to use more than just persuasion. Our money can shape the strategies of these companies directly. Savvy investors should back those that respond to change, not the ones who deny the urgency.