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‘Unburnable’ fossil fuels set to leave investors stranded

Investors are continuing to pour money into fossil fuel reserves that could end up being worthless due to efforts to combat…

But that’s exactly what investors are doing, says a new report. Takver/Flickr

Investors are continuing to pour money into fossil fuel reserves that could end up being worthless due to efforts to combat climate change, a new report has found.

The Climate Tracker report found that investors are set to waste US$6 trillion on fossil fuel reserves in the next ten years if they fail to account for global carbon budgets.

To keep climate change under the globally agreed-upon figure of 2°C by 2050, emissions must be kept to under 900 gigatonnes (Gt) CO2, the report says.

If the budget is allocated according to how much each source (fossil fuels, housing, transport etc) contributes to emissions, investment in fossil fuels must be limited to the equivalent 125-225 Gt CO2 until 2050.

Last year companies invested US$674b in developing new fossil fuel reserves. Under the new budget scenario 60-80% of this investment in fossil fuel reserves will be wasted.

Globally 200 publicly listed companies currently invest in the equivalent of 762Gt CO2. There are further interests in undeveloped reserves which could double the size to 1,541Gt CO2.

Professor Tony Wood at University of Melbourne said there’s a disconnect between what’s necessary to avoid the worst aspects of climate change, and what’s actually happening, and “this report has put that disconnect into numbers.”

Businesses continue to invest in these “stranded” assets because of continuing uncertainty over carbon pricing, he said. “Governments around the world have moved away from discussing climate change in a policy sense.”

Energy economist Dr. Barry Naughten at Australian National University said investors don’t believe governments will put a high enough price on CO2 emissions to cause them a problem.

“In Australia there’s a lot of confusion as to whether the carbon price will be maintained in any shape or form if there’s a change of government this year,” he said.

The new carbon budget is higher than previous assessments because it assumes efforts to reduce non-CO2 emissions from waste and agriculture, such as methane, will increase.

Professor Wood said there were signs of hope that emissions from waste and agriculture could be reduced.

The report reveals Australian companies have interests in 26Gt CO2, including 1Gt CO2 in gas, 2Gt CO2 in oil, and 23Gt CO2 in coal.

The highest investment is via the New York Stock Exchange with 215Gt CO2. The majority of this is invested in oil. Companies listed in London have interests in 113Gt CO2, with a greater proportion devoted to coal.

After 2050 carbon budgets must remain very low, with only 75Gt CO2 allowed in order to keep warming below 2°C.

Join the conversation

51 Comments sorted by

  1. Sean Lamb

    Science Denier

    It seems like Big Carbon is putting its money where its mouth is.

    I do wish they would finance my science denying activities - but I suppose why buy the cow when you can have the milk for free?

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  2. Gerard Dean

    Managing Director

    I love the pious young person's placard. 'You can't ignore climate change'

    She forgot to add, "You can't ignore climate change until you choose to burn JetA1 fossil fuel to fly to Europe for a holiday."

    Gerard Dean

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    1. Blake Blake

      Professional

      In reply to Gerard Dean

      Take some responsibility for a change Gerard, it might make you grow up a bit.

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  3. Gerard Dean

    Managing Director

    Don't you love this line, "Professor Tony Wood at University of Melbourne said there’s a disconnect between what’s necessary to avoid the worst aspects of climate change, and what’s actually happening,"

    Finally a Professor who gets it. The disconnect is everyone who says they believe in climate change and the need to stop burning fossil fuels and their compulsive choice to burn JetA1 fossil fuel to fly for their own pleasure.

    The disconnect is in climate change believer's brains who deliberately put their own pleasure before the good of the planet.

    Remember, if you claim to believe in climate change and the need to stop burning fossil fuels and then you CHOOSE, I emphasise the word CHOOSE, to burn JetA1 fuel to fly for pleasure, you are a hypocrite.

    No ifs, no buts, no squirms, no excuses, no looking the other way - a card carrying, rolled gold hypocrite.

    Gerard Dean

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    1. David Arthur

      resistance gnome

      In reply to Gerard Dean

      Hypocrisy, Mr Dean?

      So, any time an individual objects to an aspect of their society, and chooses to remain within that society, they are a hypocrite?

      By your logic, William Wilberforce was a hypocrite - despite his professed abhorrence of slavery, he became an MP in a society with an economic basis that included, was even dependent upon, the use of fellow human beings as slaves. Did he always purchase his clothing from tailors who didn't use slaves? Was the cloth from which his clothing was cut spun by free workers? Was the cotton from which the cloth was spun grown only by free workers?

      Unless all of these questions can be averred, Wilberforce was, by your lights, just another hypocrite.

      So what is your point exactly, Mr Dean? I've got a 45 rpm 7" record that you might like - on one side is the Sex Pistols cover of Paul Anka's "My Way", and on the other is "No One is Innocent", recorded in Rio with Ronnie Biggs on lead vocals.

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    2. Gary Murphy

      Independent Thinker

      In reply to Gerard Dean

      I guess if you want to fly overseas you have two alternatives. Either admit you are part of the problem or deny reality and pretend there is no problem.

      Guess which one Gerard chooses. Is it the morally superior choice?

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    3. Mike Hansen

      Mr.

      In reply to David Arthur

      The two most famous hypocrites in history are surely Thomas Jefferson, slaveowner and author of the following words
      "We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness."

      and Karl Marx (who apart from the odd bit of piece-work journalism never worked a day in his life) author of
      "Workers of the world unite; you have nothing to lose but your chains"

      Given the influence both had in the formation of modern society, no wonder Dean is crapping himself. :-)

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    4. helen stream

      teacher

      In reply to David Arthur

      David Arthur...

      Your analogy is incorrect.

      An individual who objects to a part of his society, but still remains in the society isn't a hypocrite at all.

      His objection isn't to the whole society---but to the particular part----and so long as he doesn't partake of that particular part to which he objects, he cannot be called a hypocrite.

      On the other hand, warmists---particularly celebrities and other high profile CAGW alarmists and preachers, are raving hypocrites of the first order when…

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    5. David Arthur

      resistance gnome

      In reply to helen stream

      Load of codswallop, Mr Coochey.

      Scientists are not trying to "trash" our economy, they are trying to save it from its own worst excesses. That's why James Hansen, for one, calls for a fossil fuel consumption tax, the rate of which is steadily increased until fossil fuels are phased out of use - and JetA1 fuel is 100% derived from vats of algae.

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    6. Doug Hutcheson

      Poet

      In reply to helen stream

      Wow, Helen! Quite a Gish Gallop there. Can you provide links to the science behind your claims, such as 'Why is there no correlation between temperature and CO2 rise'? (Hint: global temperature is rising just as expected and most of the heat is going into the oceans, but you knew that because you then asked 'Why is sea level rise not accelerating as it must if significant warming of the oceans is occurring?' (Hint: sea level is rising just as expected)).

      Sounds like you believe the whole AGW thing is a left-wing plot to rule the Earth, aided by a world-wide conspiracy of thousands of climate scientists, but you wouldn't subscribe to a conspiracy theory like that, would you?

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  4. John Newlands

    tree changer

    I recall at the time of the Queensland Rail share float the big investors said that carbon tax was likely to have little effect
    http://www.abc.net.au/news/2010-10-10/carbon-price-risk-in-qr-float/2293090
    That turned out to be correct.

    Australia's emissions were 552 Mt CO2e in 2012 compared to 558 Mt (if I recall) in 2000. Whoopee a 1% reduction. However CO2 from annual exports of thermal coal, coking coal and LNG is about 800 Mt. You have to wonder if the low carbon thing is just a pointless gesture. On the evidence you'd have to expect that most of these fossil fuel reserves will be dug up and burned with minimal hindrance.

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    1. David Arthur

      resistance gnome

      In reply to John Newlands

      With respect, Mr Newlands, just as we would be wise to not let derivative trading have anything to do with the real economy, we would be wise to avoid taxing production of anything.

      We would be wisest to tax consumption of fossil fuels. Each nation is quite capable of taking its own action on climate change, by introducing its own consumption tax on on fossil fuel (FFCT). Recalcitrant nations that don't start cutting their emissions will find that their exports are penalised by border adjustment…

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    2. John Newlands

      tree changer

      In reply to David Arthur

      It's administratively easier to impose carbon penalties on the emitter and assume the cost will be passed on or they will change technologies. However typical 90% c.t. exemption and now cheap Euro offsets (~$5 vs $24.15 c.t.) hardly creates an incentive.

      I agree with border adjustments. A greenhouse rogue nation that imports coal from Australia or anywhere else has their finished goods carbon taxed at the border. Again for administrative simplicity make it an arbitrary amount, say 20% on the landed price.

      Oh no a self defeating trade war the free marketeers will cry. China is now burning half the world's coal therefore creating some of our emissions by proxy and getting a free ride.

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    3. Gary Murphy

      Independent Thinker

      In reply to David Arthur

      Limiting pricing to fossil fuels emissions would mean opportunities to reduce emissions in other areas would be missed (eg. cement manufacturing, methane capturing, sequestration).

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    4. David Arthur

      resistance gnome

      In reply to Gary Murphy

      You're quite right that CO2 emissions from lime calcining should be taxed also - this will facilitate progress toward non-lime cements.

      Regarding methane, of course fugitive methane emissions from fossil fuel production would also be included in the tax. Methane emissions from organic wastes shouldn't be taxed, but with prices of fossil methane being sent skyward, someone will eventually have the bright idea of generating power from landfills, especially as is already done overseas. Anaerobic…

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    5. David Arthur

      resistance gnome

      In reply to John Newlands

      Thanks John.

      "China is now burning half the world's coal therefore creating some of our emissions by proxy and getting a free ride." Outsourcing emissions to China has been the major impact of the EU ETS, as explained by Dieter Helm.

      A consumption tax, on the other hand, tracks fossil fuel use through the supply chain. We don't need to set the border adjustment tax to a given percentage, because it is in all nations' interests to have its own carbon accounting. There's discussion of deeming…

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    6. Gary Murphy

      Independent Thinker

      In reply to David Arthur

      Then there are some refrigerants which are very powerful greenhouse gases. It would probably be worthwhile finding alternatives to these. I still think it makes more sense to price the actual emissions than the fossil fuels themselves. Although carbon neutral fuels (biomass etc) should be exempt.

      It sounds like what you are really opposed to is the international trading of permits. But if the opportunities for cheap emissions reductions in one country are greater than its international obligations then what is wrong with them doing more and reaping the financial benefits? It all leads to the cheapest method of reducing emissions world-wide.

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    7. David Arthur

      resistance gnome

      In reply to David Arthur

      Err, a correction is required to my las comment.

      A carbon tax of $615/tonne fossil carbon does not equate to ~$2300/tonne CO2, but to ~$177/tonne CO2.

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    8. David Arthur

      resistance gnome

      In reply to Gary Murphy

      So treat CFC's the same as fossil fuels, with adjustments for their greenhouse warming potential.

      Although using air as the oxygen source also allows for NOx formation (yet another greenhouse gas), there's probably a limit to which the adjustments for other greenhouse gases need go.

      I'm not opposed to international permit trading per se, but to the very concept of needlessly creating tradeable derivatives (emission permits). I see three adverse consequences.

      1) Price volatility destabilises…

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    9. Paul Pentony

      IT Professional

      In reply to John Newlands

      China has a lower standard of living than Australia and burns much less fossil fuel per head of population. We are in no position to argue that they should keep their emissions per head at their current levels unless we can reduce ours to the current per capita emissions of China.

      More positively it should be noted that in China last year the increase in production of electricity by wind turbines exceeded the increase of production by coal fired power stations (note we are talking about actual production, not theoretical capactiy). And of course China is one of the leading nations in deployment of photovoltaic generation.

      The real test for our government is whether it is prepared to exert pressure on China to reduce its use of coal, given that we are one of its major suppliers.

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    10. Paul Pentony

      IT Professional

      In reply to David Arthur

      In fact generation of electricity from landfill methane has been happening in Australia for the last 20 years. All landfills in Canberra use this and as I understand it so does the massive landfill used by Sydney at the old Woodlawn mine near Goulbourne.

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    11. Paul Pentony

      IT Professional

      In reply to Gary Murphy

      Ideally we would have an international trading scheme - for instance it is much cheaper to build a new nuclear or renewable power plant in China or India which obviously will need massive increases in their electricity supply than to decommission an existing power plant in Australia, replace it with nuclear or renewable and build the new coal fired power plant in the other country.

      The downside however is massive. There are too many opportunities for merchant banks and governments to cheat…

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    12. John Newlands

      tree changer

      In reply to Paul Pentony

      I think China can take the credit for getting the capex for PV from $8/w to $2 though Germany likes to think it started the ball rolling. Despite their renewables push (note Three Gorges Dam is the world's biggest renewable plant) the Chinese say they are prepared to increase their coal use from 3.9 bn tonnes to 4.2 Gt. They're not saying they will cut it in half.

      With nearly 1.4 bn population all striving for middle class status China has outrun its own resources. The big population is a double edged sword with cheap labour and now high aspirations. I expect some kind of crisis before 2030.

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    13. Doug Hutcheson

      Poet

      In reply to John Newlands

      John, to unashamedly plagiarise you:
      "With over 7 bn population all striving for middle class status Earth has outrun its own resources. The big population is a double edged sword with cheap labour and now high aspirations. I expect some kind of crisis before 2030", although I would not be surprised if the crisis happens sooner rather than later. Resource wars will continue to erupt and China will not easily relinquish its access to energy, such as Australian coal and Middle Eastern oil. 'Nuff said.

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    14. Doug Hutcheson

      Poet

      In reply to David Arthur

      "EU ETS (it must have been invented by a committee)" and one without a dog in the fight, at that. It has all the efficacy of Tony Abbott's Direct Action Plan and is taken as seriously.

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    15. Doug Hutcheson

      Poet

      In reply to David Arthur

      "Obviously, which such large amounts of revenue suddenly coming in to Govet coffers, there's all the room you like for cuts in direct taxes, plus benefit adjustments for benefit recipients."(sic)

      The logical extension of this, though, is that the charge on emissions will work to reduce emissions, which will reduce government revenue, which will force back up revenue from other sources, such as increasing income tax and cutting benefits.

      Perhaps it would be better to raise a charge against production of carbon pollution and rebate the revenue to the population, to offset the inevitable rise in prices driven by the cost of emissions in the supply chain. Oh, wait, isn't that an ETS, like the one currently legislated for?

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    16. David Arthur

      resistance gnome

      In reply to Paul Pentony

      "Ideally we would have an international trading scheme ..."

      Err, I disagree with that notion, and have long argued that replacing existing direct taxes with a simple fossil fuel consumption tax is preferable.
      1) revenue can be used to cut other taxes.
      2) no market-distorting activity from self-interested derivative traders (no exorbitant "bonuses" for derivative traders either).
      3) no business-destroying GFC-creating price volatility.

      So, we're left wtih a fossil fuel consumption tax. To…

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    17. David Arthur

      resistance gnome

      In reply to Doug Hutcheson

      Doug, the basic concept is, a government institutes a fossil fuel consumption tax at a reasonably low rate ($X/tonne CO2), then steadily increases that rate each year until the requisite decrease in fossil fuel consumption is achieved.

      All other tax rates can and will be adjusted around this central primary requirement.

      Why be scared of adjustments in tax rates? It's not as if tax rates are sacrosanct - they're quite arbitrary, readily adjusted after a couple of days' modelling in Excel by some junior worker in Treasury.

      Complete elimination of fossil fuel use from the economy will take a couple of decades. The tax system would be quite different by then, even without cessation of fossil fuel use.

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    18. David Arthur

      resistance gnome

      In reply to Doug Hutcheson

      Doug, an ETS requires TRADING, which creates exactly the business-destroying economy-destroying price volatility that brought on the GFC.

      Derivative trading is not the answer to climate change, it's a needless part of the problem.

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    19. David Arthur

      resistance gnome

      In reply to Doug Hutcheson

      Doug, I see three problems with emission trading, outlined elsewhere on this page and reproduced here for your convenience.

      1) Price volatility destabilises economies, creating GFC conditions more frequently.

      2) Price volatility favours larger corporations with deeper pockets, and is therefore yet another avenue up which large players can drive their smaller competitors to their demise.

      3) Brokerage: have you ever stopped to ponder why bankers and economists are so much in favour of emission…

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    20. helen stream

      teacher

      In reply to David Arthur

      David Arthur...

      You don't bother to even try to refute the facts on the absence of correlation between temperature and CO2 rise---the absence of any acceleration in sea level rise and the consensus of silence on black carbon as the forests continue to burn, and the Arctic ice thereby continues to melt, along with glaciers and permafrost---so I'll take it that you agree that there are no remaining indicators of CAGW.

      Why then do you and other warmists here, and apparently the authors of the…

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    21. David Arthur

      resistance gnome

      In reply to helen stream

      Gday Mr Coochey, you mention: "... correlation between temperature and CO2 rise".

      The oceans have 5000 times the heat capacity of the atmosphere. Slowdown in rate of atmospheric T rise is due to oceans are now taking up much more of the trapped heat. Not only that, but they're delivering that heat to Arctic and Antarctic, where it is melting ice and slowly increasing rate of sea level rise in a process that, once started, is not easily stopped.

      Further, in the Arctic, some of that ocean-delivered…

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    22. helen stream

      teacher

      In reply to John Newlands

      John Newlands....

      It's just amazing how breezily, and without a shadow of a doubt expressed about the authenticity or otherwise of the central issue driving all of this---- you ponder and discuss how best to put a dagger through the heart of the Australian economy.

      If you have such little care and loyalty to Australia---if you're a child of the dysfunctional UN and the global functionaries who are busting to get their hands on the buttons levers and triggers of the world , and on the big bikkies to come from holding the world hostage-----why not go live in Switzerland or one of the other countries making a motza out of peddling and prognosticating on this global hysteria?

      No doubt they'd make you very welcome.

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    23. helen stream

      teacher

      In reply to John Newlands

      John Newlands...

      Where do you see the source of export income that will replace the fossil fuels income you so lightly dispatch in your climate change dreams?

      With $100/tonne and rising fast to be paid by trading customers at their borders, should they be silly enough to use our coal, in your perfect world------ they're not actually going to buy it at all, as per your plan---instead they'll use hydro if they've got it ---or nuclear power.

      With neither, Australia of course would be an energy-poor…

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    24. David Arthur

      resistance gnome

      In reply to helen stream

      Mr Coochey asks of Mr Newlands: "Where do you see the source of export income that will replace the fossil fuels income you so lightly dispatch in your climate change dreams?"

      Perhaps we should begin by noting that Australia IMPORTS vast quantities of fossil fuels in the form of liquid transport fuels. When (not if) Australia replaces those fossil fuel imports with domestically-grown algae-based fuels, Australia will be much less dependent on an export trade that will cease when (not if) China…

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    25. David Arthur

      resistance gnome

      In reply to Doug Hutcheson

      "The logical extension of this, though, is that the charge on emissions will work to reduce emissions, which will reduce government revenue, which will force back up revenue from other sources, such as increasing income tax and cutting benefit"

      Err, not quite, Mr Newlands. The logical extension is to further increase the RATE of the fossil fuel consumption tax each year by more than the FFCT revenue losses due to efficiencies already taken.

      This allows for further cuts to other taxes, and leads to further emission-reducing technological changes; we only need to redesign a new post-carbon tax system once all fossil fuel use has been priced out of the economy.

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    26. John Campbell

      farmer

      In reply to David Arthur

      Well said David, interesting also is the fact that the extra heat in the oceans is in the case of Antarctica melting the ice from below some of which is refreezing on the surface. This 'anomaly that the denialists pickup up on of course to trump their nonsense as 'proof'' we have nothing to worry about where clearly the opposite is the case.

      Some people just don;t seem to understand that to carry on the industrial revolution in the same way as it commenced in the 1840's will kill us. We need viable alternatives not just ones which will enable us to take a fortune to our graves.

      I suspect we have already passed the threshold (300 ppm) where it will be impossible to save the polar ice caps.

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    27. David Arthur

      resistance gnome

      In reply to John Campbell

      My understanding is that Arctic Ocean will routinely be ice-free by the end of the northern summer within a couple of decades, and that Greenland's ice cap will lose a great deal of mass. This is also expected for the Antarctic Peninsula and West Antarctica, so "mean" sea levels will be ~10-20 metres higher within a few centuries.

      The much larger East Antarctic ice cap began forming at the onset of the Oligocene Epoch, ~34 million years ago, possibly associated with the establishment of the Antarctic…

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  5. Alex Cannara

    logged in via LinkedIn

    Investment, by definition, includes risk. No need to feel sorry for investors.

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  6. Doug Hutcheson

    Poet

    "the globally agreed-upon figure of 2°C by 2050": remember that the 2° figure is one arrived at by economists and politicians, not scientists. There are plenty who claim global warming is already tipping the scales towards more climate extremes, including the drastic loss of Arctic sea ice, and we have only seen about 1° of warming so far. Scientists are not saying that 2° is safe, but they generally agree that it is preferable to 3°, 4°, 5°+

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  7. Mike Pope

    logged in via email @hotmail.com

    There are plans to build around 1,200 new coal-fired power stations so why should investors in coal not be confident of increased demand and an expanding market in the future? India alone proposes to build over 400 new power stations and China (the biggest coal burner in the world) is not far behind with 340 new stations.

    Admittedly not all of these "planned" power stations will be built but the majority will and many are already under construction. Moreover they are being funded by loans from government and privately owned owned banks and even by multinational banks including agencies of the World Bank Group.

    Governments and banks which publicly decry ongoing pollution of the atmosphere and demand its cessation have no hesitation in privately funding the worst polluters - new coal burning power stations.

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  8. Mark Pollock

    Analyst

    Is there any evidence at all that "carbon budgets must remain very low, with only 75Gt CO2 allowed in order to keep warming below 2°C" by 2050?

    Clearly investors don't think so. The Chinese and Indian government don't think so. It doesn't appear that the Australian government thins so either.

    And why should they? Atmospheric CO2 concentrations continue to rise but the trend in global temperatures is flat and no one knows when or if it will start to rise again.

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    1. Mike Hansen

      Mr.

      In reply to Mark Pollock

      Duh. Pollock illustrates how investment bubbles form - people believe that what is happening today will go on forever.

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    2. Alex Cannara

      logged in via LinkedIn

      In reply to Mark Pollock

      Nice try Mark:

      "the trend in global temperatures is flat and no one knows when or if it will start to rise again. "

      Of course, if you'd been awake these last few years you'd know that not only is the wimpiest fluid on the planet not "flat" in temps, but the more manly ones (water ice, dirt, aren't either.

      And, you'd know where much of the >500 billion tons of combusted carbon are too.

      But, just in case you don't know, we have some Bank of America stock for you ~$30.
      ;]

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    3. Alex Cannara

      logged in via LinkedIn

      In reply to Mark Pollock

      By the way: "75Gt CO2 allowed in order to keep warming below 2°C" by 2050" -- is not only a fiction, it's never been realistic, since the effects of any planetary changes are nonlinear.

      This is why Arctic ice loss ha plummeted well below model predictions -- models didn't include the mammoth swing from reflective ice to absorptive open seawater.

      So, 2C is not only laughable, any denier trying to use it immediately shows he/she has no scientific grasp on reality.

      The most immediate and threatening nonlinearities are ocean pH dropping to 8.0 and tundra exposure & seafloor clathrates releasing methane, which is many times worse a GHG than CO2.

      Hang on for the ride, gang.
      ;]

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  9. Zvyozdochka

    logged in via Twitter

    No it won't be worthless, possibly exactly the opposite in fact, see Karl-Friedrich Lenz's explanation of Phaseout Profit Theory.

    His take here http://k.lenz.name/LB/?p=9250

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  10. fret Slider

    Developer

    ["The Climate Tracker report found that investors are set to waste US$6 trillion on fossil fuel reserves in the next ten years if they fail to account for global carbon budgets."]

    Oh dear....

    A paper published by James Hansen in March this year has some startling admissions.

    the effect [forcing] of man-made greenhouse gas emissions has fallen below IPCC projections, despite an increase in man-made CO2 emissions exceeding IPCC projections

    the growth rate of the greenhouse gas forcing…

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    1. Doug Hutcheson

      Poet

      In reply to fret Slider

      Oh, dear, fret Slider is confused. "the effect [forcing] of man-made greenhouse gas emissions" is a nonsense phrase: the forcing is not the effect and that phrase does not appear in the paper Slider links to. More curious obfuscation from the denialosphere.

      What the paper Slider links to actually says is this: "If greenhouse gases were the only climate forcing, we would be tempted to infer from Rahmstorf's conclusion (that actual climate change has exceeded IPCC projections) and our conclusion…

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  11. Christopher Seymour

    Business owner at Location

    It isn't just the investors in fossil fuel resources who are misguided.

    People continue to pay top dollar for water front homes along the coast at places like Palm Beach despite the climate change maps issued by .OzCoasts showing they will be flooded.

    People continue to invest in new resorts like Velaa Island in the Maldives, despite warnings that the whole country will be wiped out.

    People continue to live and invest here in Brisbane despite climate commissioner Tim Flannery's warning that "even the rain that falls isn’t actually going to fill our dams and our river systems".

    They must be crazy.

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  12. John Campbell

    farmer

    Why is the figure of 2 degrees increase in temp still bandied about when we know that it is going to be 4 degrees at least?

    Even that is at the very optimistic end of the scale where at least double that is more than likely. I can only presume that there are a lot of people out there terrified of denialists and the power they hold together with a fear of being described as an 'alarmist'.

    Come on folks a two degrees rise is getting into the fairy story arena most commonly occupied by anti-science denialists.

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