THE MOTLEY FOOL: What could the latest climate report mean for ASX 200 shares?

The latest findings from the most comprehensive climate report released to date have rattled ASX 200 shares today. What has been described as a ‘code red for humanity’, the report produced by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) has unearthed some concerning conclusions.

What is the climate report and what does it say?

In short, the latest IPCC report is not good news for the environment. The report estimates that global warming will reach 1.5 degrees Celsius by 2030 based on our current trajectory. Additionally, the study found that global temperatures have increased by 1.1 degrees since the industrialisation period. Unfortunately, Australia is even worse than the global average, with a 1.4 degree elevation.

Key takeaways:

  • Global temperatures likely to increase 1.5 degrees Celsius by 2030 without action,
  • Reforestation and carbon removal would be needed to get back under 1.5 degrees,
  • Severe draughts, floods, and fires expected to increase,
  • Australia needs to aim for Net-zero in the 2030s,
  • Call for no more oil, coal, or gas exploration or infrastructure.

Eerily, the IPCC’s climate report lands as catastrophic wildfires tear through Greece.

Why does this matter for ASX 200 shares

This could have a significant impact on the Australian share market, with many companies having exposure to natural resources reliant industries such as coal mining, oil drilling, and gas extraction, which are all energy-intensive activities with high carbon emissions.

ASX 200 shares such as Santos Ltd (ASX: STO)Woodside Petroleum Limited (ASX: WPL), and Ampol Ltd (ASX: ALD) are all being sold off today following the news.

Professor Lesley Hughes, who is a Pro-Vice-Chancellor and biologist at Macquarie University, said:

There must be no new oil, coal or gas exploration or infrastructure. We have got to stop subsidising fossil fuels. We’ve got to electrify everything and then run everything from renewable energy. We’ve got to change our diets.

Similarly, United Nations secretary-general Antonio Guterres highlighted there should not be any new coal plants built after this year. Meanwhile, the existing coal plants should be phased out by 2030 in OECD countries.

Obviously, if tighter regulations are put on oil, gas, and coal companies, this would likely cause pressure on the share prices of ASX companies in those industries.

On the other hand, Guterres also said, “By 2030, solar and wind capacity should quadruple and renewable energy investments should triple to maintain a net-zero trajectory by mid-century.”

Such a rapid growth proposition could create a positive tailwind for renewable companies. Some ASX shares outside the top 200 that are geared towards renewables are enjoying a boost today. These names include Calix Ltd (ASX: CXL)Lion Energy Ltd. (ASX: LIO), and Genex Power Ltd (ASX: GNX)

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