When Reality Bites

I suggest these two news stories are related:

Global 2021 coal-fired electricity generation surges to record high

LONDON, July 21 (Reuters) – Global coal-fired electricity generators are producing more power than ever before in response to booming electricity demand and the surging price of gas.

The world’s coal-fired generators produced a record 10,244 terawatt-hours (TWh) in 2021 surpassing the previous record of 10,098 TWh set in 2018 (“Statistical review of world energy”, BP, July 2022).

Coal-fuelled generation is on course to set an even higher record in 2022 as generators in Europe and Asia minimise the use of expensive gas following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and U.S. and EU sanctions imposed in response.

And for the delicious chaser:

ESG Fund Closures Pile Up as Do-Good Investing Takes Back Seat

A deluge of do-good ETFs once flooded US exchanges and drew in billions. But as investors contend with fears of a recession, the trend is reversing and more of these funds are closing up. . .

While do-good funds were popular during the post-pandemic bull market when virtually every strategy surged, they now account for 15% of all US ETF closures this year, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. They only made up about 4% of the funds in the industry at the start of the year. . .

It’s been a brutal turnaround for an investment strategy that grew in popularity as investors sought to finance companies that battle climate change or focus on diversity in their management. An unforgiving year for markets has put do-good investing firmly in the back seat, with investors fleeing ESG funds as portfolio protection becomes a priority.

“This is a really difficult market — I think people tend to go back to the basics,” said Cinthia Murphy, director of research at ETF Think Thank.

Cue your favorite schadenfreude theme music. (Mine is “Ride of the Valkyries.”)

Bonus—a data chart for the fun of it:

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