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David Fickling

What the Oil Price Crash Means for the Climate

A lower cost of crude won’t reverse decarbonization, but a lot depends on what kind of stimulus China deploys. 

Solar could get some shine. 

Solar could get some shine. 

Photographer: Angel Garcia/Bloomberg

For those awaiting more aggressive action on climate change, it may look like a breaking point has finally arrived. 

A sudden collapse in fossil-fuel markets akin to the 2008 financial crisis has long been a scenario for how the world switches to a less carbon-intensive path. With Brent crude trading below $35 and the average yield on the U.S. energy sector’s junk debt above 15% — nearly double its levels in mid-January — it looks very much like a credit crunch is upon us.