Western fossil fuel companies investing in Africa face a significant risk of regulatory action that’s getting more explicit as the world moves to try to tackle dangerous climate change, a US climate envoy said on Friday.
During a virtual media briefing while in South Africa as part of a continental trip, US Deputy Special Envoy for Climate Jonathan Pershing urged investors to consider whether investing in fossil fuels was worthwhile.
“There’s a risk of regulatory … and financial action, and I believe that’s getting more and more explicit,” he said, after being asked what US authorities likely response was to the current rush by Western oil and gas companies to develop deposits in Africa.
“There’s an increasing … price on carbon. If you’re a company looking to make an investment in oil and gas, you have to ask yourself … am I going to be left with a stranded asset?”