The Yemeni drone strike on a Aramco refinery in Saudi Arabia and the company’s planned initial public offering (IPO) juxtapose two emerging sustainability trends to watch for over the coming year.
The first is about demand for oil.
The Yemeni rebels claiming to be behind the attack caused the plant to lose half of its operating capacity amounting to 6 million barrels of oil to date.
Was the timing of this attack planned to coincide with the company’s international IPO slated for November this year, which some analyst believe will top USD 100 billion, the largest ever. Aramco officials now say the IPO will be ready within then next 12 months.
Security concerns raised by the attack begs the question: who might justifiably invest in the IPO of any company so easily targeted?
#BigOil: a square business in a round climate crisis whole?
A The Sustainable Century report next week will provide more insights, but given the size of the IPO, buyers will include many of the world’s largetst institutional investors and investment banks, casting grave shadows on who really is divesting from #BigOil even when climate and security risks are so demonstrably high.
It is worth noting, some institutional investors that may invest in the IPO include JP Morgan and SP Global Financial, both of which are represented on the Business Roundtable (BR) board of directors. The BR, many will recall, recently announced member companies would pursue ‘stakeholder first’ businesses models. We can presume this should include, for example, care for the environment.
[bctt tweet=” The nature, size and buyers of the Aramco IPO will certainly test investor sincerity around addressing climate change.”]
Financing the world’s largest oil producer may not be taking that commitment very far. The nature, size and buyers of the Aramco IPO will certainly test investor sincerity around addressing climate change.
Increasingly aggressive non-violent climate activism
What the attacks also indelibly show is that #BigOil is susceptible to disruption. Drone technology, after all, is relatively simple and widely available for soft targets such as Aramco.
What does this mean for environmental activism?
[bctt tweet=”Environmental activists have been adopting increasingly more aggressive ‘non-violent tactics’ “]
Environmental activists have been adopting increasingly more aggressive ‘non-violent tactics’ of late. Greenpeace disrupted oil shipping in Houston, Texas and #Extinction Rebellion droning the airspace around Heathrow Airport in London are but two examples. And we know from the once peaceful demonstrations in Hong Kong, violence is just one brick or rock away.
This suggests the second trend which comes in the form of a question: just how far will activist go to disrupt the fossil fuel industry?
Check out the Sustainable Century next week for more. Until, then, if you want to pass the investor climate crisis test but are not sure how, get a copy of my book, Invest Like You Give A Damn and learn how!