Insights

Week in Impact: Tesla's wild ride

Does BlackRock's watershed CEO letter suggest the finance industry is finally taking climate risk seriously?

View from the top

🏦 Credit Suisse unveiled sweeping plans to combine its oil & gas and renewables teams. As part of the restructure, it also earmarked $328bn for sustainable financing.

⛽ Little surprise that banks are taking renewables more seriously. On Wednesday, Total announced a $7bn write-down of oil sands assets on the back of sinking demand...

📉... While Royal Dutch Shell yesterday reported an $18bn quarterly loss. Disappointing second-quarter oil earnings were also announced for Chevron and Exxon today.

🐋 ESG investors are waking up to biodiversity risk, writes the FT, as ecosystem damage threatens to wipe $10trn from the global economy by 2050.  

🐄 Nordea pulled $47m from Brazilian meat giant JBS, citing its poor record on deforestation, corruption, and worker health during the pandemic.

🚗 The UK is grid-planning for 30 million electric cars by 2040, reports Bloomberg, with the power sector expected to reach negative emissions by 2033.

Company spotlight: Tesla

It seems appropriate to round out the month with a spotlight on Tesla.

The electric carmaker hit headlines at the beginning of July, when its $201 billion market capitalisation overtook that of ExxonMobil: once the largest company in the world, now a poster child for the worst oil price crash in history.

Surprising analysts, Tesla reported a profit of $104 million last week. The announcement marked a fourth consecutive quarter of profits, even as the pandemic squeezed other automakers. It also qualified Tesla for inclusion in the S&P 500 index, a prerequisite for which is consistent profits.

This month happened to mark the ten-year anniversary since Tesla's IPO. A decade ago, electric cars were a niche market. Today, their ubiquity seems all but guaranteed, as prices fall, batteries become more efficient, and governments prepare cities for electrification.