London stock exchange recategorizes fossil fuel companies

July 2019—Terminology matters. So the London FTSE Russell is reshuffling Climate polluters into their own category, non-renewable energy.

Oil and gas companies listed on the London Stock exchange have been moved into a new non-renewable energy category by index provider FTSE Russell. According to The Guardian, the move is specifically “designed to distinguish between heavily polluting companies and greener producers.”

BP, Royal Dutch Shell, and many others now find themselves in the new category, along with coal companies that were previously found under “basic materials/mining.”

To create clearly parallel language, they’ve also renamed Alternative Energy (which makes it sound like a fringe industry), now calling it Renewable Energy.

This decision does bring some angst, since most of the oil companies are diversifying (albeit in baby steps).

Any change to classification has to recognise that many oil and gas companies have a diversity of energy interests and are active right across the energy spectrum. We would hope that any change which seeks to help the advance to a low carbon future does not have unintended consequences which might in fact slow down the pace of change, having the opposite effect of what it’s set out to do.”

Presumably when a majority of their operations are renewable, they get to switch categories.

Darcy Hitchcock