According to the coverage of foreign media AXIOS, Microsoft founder Bill Gates mentioned during COP26 last week that the world’s extrication from fossil fuels by adopting additional green energy and renewable energy has put petroleum giants, who have dominated the market for over a century, into a predicament. Gates predicted that several petroleum giants will start to collapse and be “worth very little” after 30 years.
A reduction is seen in the stock prices of the largest US petroleum and natural gas producer Exxon Mobil, BP, and Royal Dutch Shell over the past five years, whereas the drastic depletion in the demand for petroleum amidst the breakout of the COVID-19 pandemic has also resulted in considerable losses for petroleum and natural gas businesses.
Exxon Mobil had maintained a market value of as high as US$275 billion last year despite having made a loss of US$20 billion, though the transformation of energy policies from countries such as the US in accordance with climate change, as well as the gradual popularization of electric vehicles, are forcing investors to become increasingly doubtful on the prospect of petroleum-related stocks.
Gates pointed out that petroleum companies that turn to renewable energy are likely to survive, though IEA analyst Heymi Bahar believes that it is quite unlikely for major petroleum businesses to become leaders in renewable energy technology.
Judging by his investment record, Gates is less than optimistic about the outlook of petroleum giants. His new book “How to Avoid a Climate Disaster” mentioned that he had sold all shares from petroleum and natural gas companies during 2019, while the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation had also sold all shares.
(Cover photo source: Flickr/Billionaires Success CC BY 2.0)