Realising the inflationary threat from surging commodities prices and the risk of an economic train wreck due to the unrealistic timeline for the green energy transition, policymakers kick climate targets down the road. They relax investment red tape for five years for oil production and ten years for natural gas production, to encourage producers to ensure adequate and reasonably priced supplies that bridge the gap from the energy present to the low-carbon energy future.
According to the International Energy Agency, the ambitious goal to reach net zero emissions by 2050 would require that the consumption of oil and natural gas decline 29 percent and 10 percent respectively by 2030, with further steep declines thereafter. Faced with this outlook, suppliers of these traditional energy sources have already begun scaling back exploration and production to such an extent that supply is already slipping relative to demand, raising prices for the energy source that still feeds the bulk of our primary energy requirements.
This development has already jacked up prices and volatility, not only for energy, but also for industrial metals, most of which are needed in greater quantities for the green transformation push. On top of this, surging energy prices have spiked diesel and fertiliser prices, important for farming costs that raise concerns about the production of key food crops.
One key restraint on the investment needed to maintain, much less expand, mining and energy production has been the lack of lending interest from investors and banks. Environmental, social and governance (ESG) criteria have become an increasingly popular way for investors and banks to allocate investment capital to companies.
Faced with rapidly rising commodity prices and an increasingly impossible road to carbon neutrality, policymakers make a surprise and controversial move in 2022 to temporarily relax environmental restrictions on new upstream crude oil and natural gas investments for five and 10 years, respectively. The plan is sold as the only pragmatic way to bridge the reality of our energy-consuming present with the desired low-carbon future, while also limiting the risk of social unrest caused by rising food and energy prices.
Market impact: The iShares Stoxx EU 600 Oil & Gas ETF (Ticker: EXH1:xetr) surges 50 percent as the whole energy sector gets a new lease on life
See next 2022 prediction:
Facebook faceplants on youth exodus
Outrageous Predictions 2023: The War Economy
- The constantly growing global need for energy drives the world's richest to huddle up and launch a R&D project in a size the world hasn't seen since the Manhattan Project gave the US the first atomic bomb.
French President Macron resignsThe political stalemate in France and the rise of Marie Le Pen following the 2022 elections corners President Macron, forcing him to give up on politics and resign from his position. At least for now.
Gold rockets to USD 3,000 as central banks fail on inflation mandateAs markets and central banks realise that the idea that inflation is transitory is wrong, and that prices will remain higher for longer, gold is sent through the roof, hitting a price tag of USD 3,000
EU Army forces EU down path to full unionWith continued challenges in the region and a US military that isn't aggressively enacting its former role as global policeman, the European Union agrees to create its own armed forces, bringing the whole region closer.
A country agrees to ban all meat production by 2030In an effort to become one of the global leaders on the path to net-zero emissions, one country decides to not only put a heavy tax on meat, but to ban domestic production entirely.
UK holds UnBrexit referendumFollowing a recession and domestic pressure, the United Kingdom is thrown into political turmoil that will end with a vote to wind back Brexit.
Widespread price controls are introduced to cap official inflationHistory tells us that with the war economy comes rationing and price controls. And this time is no different, as policymakers introduce strict price controls that lead to a range of unintended consequences.
OPEC+ & Chindia walk out of the IMF, agree to trade with new reserve assetSanctions against Russia have caused widespread turmoil due to US Dollar moves in countries across the globe that don't consider the US an ally. To relieve themselves from this, they leave the IMF and create a new reserve asset.
USDJPY fixed to the USD at 200 as Japan overhauls financial systemFollowing the challenges that faced the Japanese Yen in 2022, the Bank of Japan attempts to keep the currency from sliding. Unsuccessful on the long-term, Japan will launch a reset of its entire financial system.
Tax haven ban kills private equityWith the war economy comes an increased focus on national interests and sovereign nations' ability to assert themselves. In that regard, the OECD countries turn their attention on tax havens and pull the big guns out, banning them altogether.
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