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Sustainability, ESG & Climate Services


This weekly report covers all aspects of the major changes facing industry, from climate change initiatives through ESG investing, and includes regular work on recycling, renewables, energy transition and hydrogen, and carbon capture and use.  It is included as part of our comprehensive research/consulting subscription, but can also be purchased separately.


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Concluding The Power Discussion – How Do We Move Forward with Higher Prices

1st Topic of the Week: Power Shortfalls Suggest Higher Pricing – If power supplies are insufficient to meet demand, prices will be higher than expected and exceed costs – a setting likely positive for producers but not sustainability. 2nd Topic of the Week: Using Water For Storage – Location Is Everything – Europe’s opportunity to use hydraulic storage is an illustration that most transition solutions are situational – what and who are around you matter. Otherwise – We discuss ethanol as a possible enabler for transition if it is cheap and low carbon, and we comment on the collapsing carbon price in Europe, ammonia ambitions, slower hydrogen activity, and likely ESG investor compromise (more on this next week).

Is Green Dead? Or Just Very Unwell

1st Topic of the Week: Is Green Dead – Green strategies are not working and are becoming less popular. The high-cost challenges are adding to growing political divides, and we see this slowing progress significantly – cleaner versus green is a better pathway today – especially if cleaner is not expensive – good enough vs perfect is key.

2nd Topic of the Week: More Resets – Somewhat related to the above, we are seeing more examples of our theme from last week – target resets, with Albemarle lowering its expected growth rates for lithium, as an example – there is much more revised guidance ahead across multiple sub-sectors this year in our view.   

Otherwise – We look at the challenges in the recycled polymer chain as prices fall, the carbon intensity of hydrogen and the impact on credits, more power hurdles, a couple of company reports of interest, and PVC.

Walking Back To (Un)Happiness: Will 2024 Be the Year to Reset 2030 Goals?

1st Topic of the Week: 2030 Shortfalls – The oil and gas companies are not alone in backtracking on climate and sustainability-related goals. As power shortfalls arise and renewable/recycle shortfalls emerge, those dependent on them will need to recalibrate, both at the company level and at the country level – is 2024 a reset year – probably.

2nd Topic of the Week: Carbon Offset Price Inflation – On a related note, we see an increasing risk that too many companies see carbon offsets as a 2030 lifeline, and that this will bid credit values materially higher. While DAC cost should be a logical price cap, if there are insufficient credits, prices could spike much higher.

Otherwise – We look at very high expectations for recycled plastics margins, which imply an expected shortage (not evident today), more on Ørsted’s revised guidance and how that further increases China’s green leadership, another communications own-goal from Origin Materials, and biorefineries.

At The Flick of A Switch – Or Maybe Not; Why Power Is Causing Industrial Headaches

1st Topic of the Week: Finding A Power Solution – Power is shaping up to be a much larger headache for industrial companies than many imagined – cheap, useable power is often not close to where it is needed – could we see industrial developments chase sources of cheap power – possibly. The timing of needs is also complicated.

2nd Topic of the Week: Money’s Too Tight – Public and private funding of energy transition is shrinking, and this is penalizing small companies where the innovation investment is most needed. We do not see a change in 2024.

Otherwise – We look at chemical recycling, collapsing European carbon prices, rising costs of shorter-term PPAs, geothermal power, EV stagnation, and LNG.

Enter The Lawyers – Goodbye European Industry – Hello US Exports

1st Topic of the Week: Courts and Inequality – As climate change debates move to the courtroom, a more liberal European court system could penalize industry, while more conservative courts in the US support industry – faster decline in industry in Europe – very bad for EU stability – quite good for US exporters.

2nd Topic of the Week: Manufacturing Incentives – 45X tax incentives are very geared towards wind and solar and we question whether it makes sense to subsidize something as aggressively as “wafers” when it is clearly uneconomic to make them in the US and may never be.

Otherwise – We look at mechanical versus chemical recycling, design for recycling, who will pay for DAC, and why, European power price deflation, not enough yet, and why Plug Powers Stock has over-reacted to some good news.

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