Oil prices tanked on Monday morning driven by investors selling off holdings after the publication of a landmark report on the damaging effects of climate change signals “code red” for humanity.
International benchmarks WTI and Brent Crude plummeted 4.1 per cent and 3.8 per cent respectively.
A barrel of either benchmark costs well below $70.
A new report examining the potential trajectory of climate change and its impacts on humanity was published by the UN’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change this morning.
The study found that the scale of recent changes to the world’s climate system were “unprecedented over many centuries to many thousands of years”.
It also said that it was “unequivocal” that “human influence” had contributed to the world’s warming.
Scientists warned that human activity is the primary driver of climate change and indicated that an international agreement to keep temperatures under 1.5C will be breached by 2040 in all scenarios.
The report did highlight that if nations are able to significantly cut greenhouse gas emissions over the next decade, the worst effects of climate change could be avoided, suggesting that reliance on oil to facilitate economic activity will start to ease, causing demand to drop sharply.
Oil company shares in London fell along with crude, BP shares were down 2.3 per cent, while fellow major Shell was down 1.9 per cent this lunchtime.