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Stranded Assets Programme

The Stranded Assets Programme works to understand the risks that result in stranded assets and how these change over time. We create the tools and frameworks needed for investors, businesses, regulators and policy makers to address these challenges.


'Stranded assets' are assets that have suffered from unanticipated or premature write-downs, devaluations or conversion to liabilities. They can be caused by a range of environment-related risks and these risks are poorly understood and regularly mispriced, which has resulted in a significant over-exposure to environmentally unsustainable assets throughout our financial and economic systems. Current and emerging risks related to the environment represent a major discontinuity, able to profoundly alter asset values across a wide range of sectors.

Some of these risk factors include:

  • Environmental challenges (e.g. climate change, water constraints)
  • Changing resource landscapes (e.g. shale gas, phosphate)
  • New government regulations (e.g. carbon pricing, air pollution regulation)
  • Falling clean technology costs (e.g. solar PV, onshore wind)
  • Evolving social norms (e.g. fossil fuel divestment campaign) and consumer behaviour (e.g. certification schemes)
  • Litigation and changing statutory interpretations (e.g. changes in the application of existing laws and legislation)

The Stranded Assets Programme at the University of Oxford's Smith School of Enterprise and the Environment was established in 2012 to understand these risks in different sectors and systemically. We test and analyse the materiality of stranded asset risks over different time horizons and research the potential impacts of stranded assets on investors, businesses, regulators and policymakers. We also work with partners to develop strategies to manage the consequences of stranded assets.

The Programme is led by Ben Caldecott and its work is guided by the Global Stranded Assets Advisory Council chaired by Professor Gordon Clark, Director of the Smith School.


Core Team


Current Graduate Students

Former Graduate Students

  • Hanah Chang (2012-13)
  • David Livingston (2012-13)
  • Jeremy McDaniels (2012-13)

April 2014

An Open Letter

On Thursday 10 April faculty members at Harvard University published an open letter to President Drew Faust and the University's Fellows, expressing frustration with the president's dismissive statements on divestment, and demanding that the University "divest, as soon as possible, its holdings in fossil fuel corporations."

Read the Letter

The oil industry is not only hurting the environment - it's a bad investment, too - The Week

A new movement to divest from Big Oil focuses on the industry's wobbly business model

March 2014

Monash letters reveal secretive attitude over fossil fuel investments - ABC LateLine

Victoria's Monash University says it's committed to reducing its carbon emissions but confidential correspondence between its senior executives reveals a secretive attitude when it comes to how much money Monash is making from fossil fuel investments.

First shots fired in mining battle - Australia Financial Review

The decision to loose the Minerals Council on the coal problem says only that the campaign to undermine community, investor and government confidence in Australia's second biggest export industry is beginning to develop potentially debilitating momentum.

Coalminers starting to count the cost of activist pressure on funding - The Age

Campaigns to get banks and big funds to drop their support for fossil fuel enterprises are gathering momentum and are likely to increasingly lead to reputational damage for coal miners, says an Oxford academic.

Read More

Australian coal investments at risk of becoming 'stranded assets' - ABC Radio National Australia

Radio interview with Fran Kelly

Australia is the world's largest exporter of coal, with a boom over the past decade as black coal exports rose by more than 50 per cent. While prices have slumped over the last two years, plans remain on the books which would more than double Australia's coal exports by 2020. But is proposed investment in new Australian coal projects at risk of becoming a series of 'stranded assets'?

Listen Now

Fossil fuel campaigns to plague miners - Australian Financial Review

Fossil fuel divestment campaigns are gathering momentum and are likely to increasingly lead to reputational damage for coal miners, as well as increased financing costs, according to Ben Caldecott, director of the Stranded Assets Program at Oxford University.

Stranded assets and coal Visiting Research Associateships at the Smith School of Enterprise and the Environment, University of Oxford.

We are recruiting six to eight Visiting Research Associates, each with significant experience of coal-related issues in major coal consuming or producing countries. These appointments will be non-stipendiary and the term of appointment is one year, renewable for an additional year. We are looking for individuals with an expertise and interest in coal, resource issues and environmental challenges.

Read More

Could the Global Economy Be Facing a Carbon Bubble? - Time

Three new studies released this month lent weight behind the increasingly popular idea that funneling money into fossil fuels is not only harmful for the environment, it's also potentially calamitous for the global financial system.

Norway spurs rethink on fossil fuel companies - Financial Times

Norway's decision to set up an expert group to see if its $840bn oil fund should stop investing in fossil fuel companies has triggered a wave of speculations since it was announced last week.

February 2014

Protesters slam fossil fuel industry - The New Zealand Herald

Campaigners are out to hit the fossil fuel industry where it hurts, by making it an unacceptable place to invest.

Lessons from European Utilities: Wires Have What It Takes - Investing Daily

While energy utilities are in the early stages of a transformation wrought by regulatory demands and revolutionary technologies, we recognize that those who already depend on income investments canÕt afford to stand by until clear winners emerge from the process of creative destruction.

Is the public blind to "carbon bubble" risk? - Business Green

Survey finds low levels of awareness of "carbon bubble", despite widespread concern about investment risk

January 2014

Are the economics and ethics of fossil fuel divestment aligning? - RTCC

Divestment movement needs to explain why fossil fuel investments will end in financial disaster

European utilities "ditched €6bn of gas plant last year" - Business Green

Smith School study calls on governments to revamp their energy policies to ensure utilities can cope with low carbon transition.

Utilities Shut 12% of Europe Gas Plants, Oxford Study Shows - Bloomberg

Ten of Europe's biggest utilities mothballed 21.3 gigawatts of gas-fed stations last year, or 12 percent of Europe's generation fleet, as plants lost money for a second year, according to an Oxford University study.

2013: the year the divestment campaign took flight - RTCC

For climate activists, 2013 will be remembered as the year that divestment shed its indie skin and hit the mainstream.

December 2013

Australia facing slump as China 'goes green' - Ecologist

Australia has been growing rich from exporting coal to China. But as Kieran Cooke reports, China's renewable energy revolution may soon bring the 'good times' to an end.

China's coal crackdown could leave Australian mines stranded Down Under - Business Green

A predicted slowdown in China's appetite for coal could have dire consequences for Australian mines, according to the latest research by University of Oxford's Stranded Assets Programme.

Coal's grim forecast: projects may be 'stranded' by falling Chinese demand - The Guardian

A string of projects to create some of the worldÕs largest coalmines in Australia risks becoming financially unviable due to falling demand from China, a new report by the University of Oxford has warned.

Palmer and Rinehart's coal mine expansion queried by Oxford report - The Sunday Morning Herald

Coal projects planned by some of Australia's biggest mining magnates and port developments backed by the federal government may be delayed or become unviable because of sagging demand for the resources from China, an Oxford University study has found.

Australian coal investments at risk of becoming 'stranded assets' - Oxford study says -

New research suggests that Australian coal's second-biggest customer, China, could be headed for a coal-free diet.

Coal mines could be 'mothballed' - Business Spectator

A study by Oxford University looked at how coal demand from China, which accounts for half the world's coal consumption, due to environmental factors could lead to "stranded assets" in Australia. Stranded assets have suffered from unanticipated devaluations.

College Divestment Movement Takes on Fossil Fuels After Battling Apartheid With Mandela - Time Magazine

Students are trying recapture the fervor that surrounded the anti-apartheid protests for a new goal: getting universities across the country to stop investing in companies that extract fossil fuels.

Coal Mines could be 'abandoned' - Sky News

New research from Oxford University shows China's changing commodity demands will result in Australian coal mines becoming mothballed or abandoned.

The Carbon Time Bomb in Your Retirement Account - The Atlantic

A new financial tool lets Wall Street calculate the climate-change risk of investments.

Bloomberg launches new 'carbon bubble' risk analysis service - Business Green

Financial data giant launches Bloomberg Carbon Risk Valuation Tool to help investors gauge whether fossil fuel assets are at risk of overvaluation.

Coal holds on while pieces of green puzzle come together - Financial Times

November 2013

Risk of stranded assets prompts debate over engaging or divesting - Pensions & Investments

Pension funds and other institutional investors face new pressure to increase their focus on emerging risks triggered by exposure to what might become 'stranded assets' of oil, coal and other fossil fuel companies.

Coal Seen as New Tobacco Sparking Investor Backlash: Commodities - Bloomberg News

October 2013

Al Gore tells investors to divest from fossil-fuel assets -

Former US vice-president Al Gore has today backed a report highlighting the risks to investors of owning carbon-intensive assets. Mr Gore has stressed the need for investors to consider the carbon risk inherent in their investment portfolios, suggesting that investors "divest from carbon-intesive fossil fuel assets".

UK universities urged to pull cash from fossil fuel giants - The Guardian

Exxon Mobil's big threat: a calculator -

Campaign against fossil fuels growing, says study - The Guardian

Campaigns will damage oil companies' reputations - ABC

Fossil fuel companies cannot afford to ignore divestment trend - Business Green

Fossil fuel divestment campaigns can help 'stigmatise' industry - Blue & Green Tomorrow

September 2013

Energy: The toll on coal - Financial Times

August 2013

Investors in agriculture ignore environmental risks at their peril - The Guardian

Surge of investment in farming threatens £5trn catastrophe - The Independent

Agriculture market stoking £5trn asset bubble, study warns - Business Green

Agriculture assets at 'significant risk' of becoming devalued - report - Environmental Finance

Agriculture Assets Face $8 Trillion Risk from Climate Change, Water Scarcity - Environmental Leader

Investment surge in farming could wipe $8 trillion off agriculture value: Study - Business Insurance

June 2013

'Staying afloat when assets get stranded' - Financial Times

March 2013

‘Sustainable Agriculture & Food Security’ special report distributed in The Times. Article 'Putting Money Where Hungry Mouths Need It, with comments by Ben Caldecott, explores the many investments opportunities in agriculture and how complexities in food supply chain can create risks.

‘Putting Money Where Hungry Mouths Need it‘ - Huffington Post

February 2013

‘Oxford researchers evaluate future investments in high-carbon assets and sectors’.

On 11 February 2013, the University of Oxford launched a new research programme to help businesses and policy-makers future proof against investments in assets that might become devalued or written off, otherwise known as ‘stranded’. Assets become stranded for a number of different reasons: they can be supplanted by greener alternatives or technological innovations; or in sectors experiencing change due to new regulations or resource constraints.

‘Investors warned over unchanging groups‘.

By Pilita Clark, Financial Times Environment Correspondent.

Investors should think twice about putting money into especially dirty fossil fuel businesses and other companies at risk from mounting environmental pressures, a former Conservative cabinet minister has warned. “We should look very carefully at investing in companies that don’t recognise that the world is changing so fast,” said John Gummer, environment minister during the Major government and now known as Lord Deben.

‘University of Oxford to identify ‘stranded’ high carbon assets'. - The Guardian

HSBC and Aviva-backed research aims to highlight investments whose value is likely to decline in a low-carbon future.

June 2012

'Global Financial System at Risk From High-Carbon Assets' - Bloomberg

May 2012

‘Focus falls on asset owners’ climate risk’. - Financial Times

February 2012

‘Investors urged to track ESG risks’ - Financial Times

‘Carbon bubble: Bank of England’s opportunity to tackle market failure’ - The Guardian

January 2012

‘Fossil fuels are sub-prime assets, Bank of England governor warned’ - The Guardian

July 2011

‘Why high-carbon investment could be the next sub-prime crisis’ - The Guardian


Upcoming Events

More information coming soon.

Recent Events

Stranded Down Under? Stranded Assets and Environment-related Risks.

3 April 2014 | 18:00 | Australia | 66 Ernest St ,South Brisbane, Queensland 4101, Australia

Lecture by Ben Caldecott.

Stranded Down Under? Stranded Assets and Environment-related Risks.

1 April 2014 | 18:00 | Melbourne Sustainable Society Institute

Lecture by Ben Caldecott.

Stranded Down Under? Stranded Assets and Environment-related Risks.

27 March 2014 | 19:00 | Sydney Law School, The University of Sydney

Lecture by Ben Caldecott.

Stranded Down Under? Stranded Assets and Environment-related Risks.

25 March | 18:00 | Coombs Lecture Theatre, HC Coombs Building, Fellows Road, The Australian National University

Lecture by Ben Caldecott.

15 March 2014 | 17:00 | Founder's Room | Saïd Busines School | Park End Street, Oxford, OX1 1HP

Environmental Protection and Rare Disasters

Lecture with Prof Robert Barro, Paul M. Warburg Professor of Economics at Harvard University

Prof Barro's Biography: Robert J. Barro is Paul M. Warburg Professor of Economics at Harvard University, a senior fellow of the Hoover Institution of Stanford University, and a research associate of the National Bureau of Economic Research. The Research Papers in Economics project ranked him as the 3rd most influential economist in the world as of June 2013 based on his academic contributions. Barro is co-editor of Harvard's Quarterly Journal of Economics. Noteworthy research includes empirical determinants of economic growth, economic effects of public debt and budget deficits, and the formation of monetary policy. Recent books include Macroeconomics: A Modern Approach, Economic Growth (2nd edition, written with Xavier Sala-i-Martin), Nothing Is Sacred: Economic Ideas for the New Millennium, Determinants of Economic Growth, and Getting It Right: Markets and Choices in a Free Society.

27 February 2014 | 17:30 | Beckit Room | OUCE | South Park Road | OX1 3QY

The challenges the international climate change negotiations face 20 years in and what this means for current attempts to secure a global deal in 2015.

Lecture with Mr Simon Upton, Environment Director at the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD)

Mr Upton's Biography: The Environment Directorate of the OECD, which Mr. Upton leads, is responsible for Environmental Performance Reviews of Member Countries, the economic analysis of policy instruments used to improve environmental outcomes and a wide range of work related to water, biodiversity, climate and chemicals. Mr. Upton is a former New Zealand Parliamentarian whose political career, between 1981 and 2000, included nine years as a Minister. His portfolios included Environment, Research, Biosecurity, Health and State Services. As Environment Minister he chaired the 7th Session of the UN Commission on Sustainable Development and the 1998 meeting of OECD Environment Ministers. Between his retirement from political life in 2000 and taking up his present role at the OECD, Mr. Upton combined his chairmanship of the Round Table on Sustainable Development at the OECD with a variety or private sector roles in New Zealand. He is a Fellow of the Royal New Zealand Society and a Rhodes Scholar with degrees in English literature, music and law from the University of Auckland and has an MLitt in political philosophy from Oxford University

11 Feb 2014 | 10:30 | AXA IM, 7 Newgate Street, London, EC1A 7NX

'Understanding the implications of Climate Change for Investment Returns and for Beneficiaries' - Training for Trustees

Ben Caldecott, Director of the Stranded Assets Programme, lectured at a Training for Trustees organized by the Association of Member Nominated Trustees

27 Nov 2013 | 11:00 | Oxford University Centre for the Environment

'Stranded Assets and Environment-related Risks'

Ben Caldecott, Director of the Stranded Assets Programme, gave a lecture to MSc students on the Biodiversity, Conservation and Management course at Oxford.

22 Nov 2013 | Bloomberg New Energy Finance Leadership Forum 2013

'Attracting Long-term Finance to Clean Energy Infrastructure'

Ben Caldecott, Director of the Stranded Assets Programme, gave a presentation on Risks for investors in clean and fossil-fuel energy.

20 Nov 2013 | 8:45 | Cleantech Summit 2013

'Managing Risk and esuring resilience - sustainability in investment, business and government strategy'

Ben Caldecott, Director of the Stranded Assets Programme, gave the plenary opening address on managing risk and ensuring resilience-sustainability in investment, business and government strategy.

18 Nov 2013 | 16:00 - 17:00 | Natural Capital Declaration

'Natural Capital Declaration Webinar: Natural Capital Risks in Agriculture'

Ben Caldecott, Director of the Stranded Assets Programme, presented findings from the report, 'Stranded Assets in Agriculture: Protecting Value from Environment-related Risks'

12 Nov 2013 | 10:00 - 11:00 | Standard Chartered, London, United Kingdom

'Stranded Assets Webinar'

Ben Caldecott, Director of the Stranded Assets Programme, spoke to Standard Chartered staff about stranded assets and environment-related risks and how it relates to the banking sector.

7 Nov 2013 | 11:00 - 12:00 | Brussels, Belgium

'Towards a renationalisation of energy policies?'

Ben Caldecott, Director of the Stranded Assets Programme, was a guest speaker at Friends of Europe's 10th annual Energy Policy Summit entitled 'Europe's energy outlook: Heading in the right direction?'.

For more information please visit the Summit's website.

5 Nov 2013 | 09:30 - 13:00 | Chatham House, 10 St James's Square, London, SW1Y 4LE

'Environment-related risks and stranded assets: the valuation of fossil fuel assets in emerging production regions'

Ben Caldecott, Director of the Stranded Assets Programme, was a guest speaker at Chatham House's 'The Changing Dynamics of Global Energy Markets' Conference on 4-5 November 2013.

1 Nov 2013 | Istanbul, Turkey

'FT/IFC Investing in Climate Business Forum'

Ben Caldecott was one of the panellists on the 'Policy: Creating an Enabling Environment' session, discussing:

  • Navigating the region: building mission critical partnerships with co-investors, governments, regulators and finance institutions
  • Necessary improvements in policies of the region: Public policy solutions to develop a structure for sustainable growth

For more information on the event please visit the forum's website.

22 Oct 2013 | 08:00-09:30 | Copenhagen, Denmark

'Global Green Growth Forum'

Ben Caldecott was one of the panellists at 3GF's Green Growth Best Practices session, discussing Public Private Partnerships.

For more information on the event please visit the 3GF website.

8 Oct 2013 | 17:00 | Aviva Investors, No1. Poultry, London, EC2R 8EJ

'Fossil fuel divestment and what it could mean for companies and investors'

Attendance to this event is by invitation only

The divestment campaign has rapidly gained traction throughout US university campuses and elsewhere since its launch in 2012. The movement aims to secure commitments from university endowments, public funds and others to divest from fossil fuel assets. It has potential consequences for fossil fuel companies and investors and the Smith School's research has objectively looked to understand and analyse these issues. Part of this research has involved investigating the similarities between this divestment campaign and others, including on tobacco and apartheid.

Speakers include:

Prof Gordon Clark, Director, Smith School of Enterprise and the Environment

David Nussbaum, CEO, WWF-UK

David Pitt-Watson, Co-Chair of the UNEP Finance Initiative and Executive Fellow at London Business School

Steve Waygood, Chief Responsible Investment Officer, Aviva Investors

30 July 2013 | Smith School of Enterprise and the Environment, 75 George Street, Oxford, OX1 2BQ

'Delegation of Chinese Financial Institutions briefed on stranded assets'

A delegation of leading Chinese financial institutions were hosted by the Smith School for a briefing on stranded assets. The delegation was brought to the UK by the Foreign & Commonwealth Office and included representatives from the China Banking Regulatory Commission, China's Ministry of Environmental Protection, China Banking Association, China Development Bank, ICBC, Agricultural Bank of China, China Construction Bank, Bank of Communications, China Merchants Bank, Shanghai Pudong Development Bank and Industrial Bank.

Speakers included:

Ben Caldecott, Programme Director and Research Fellow, Smith School

Liesel van Ast, Global Canopy Programme

Edward Mott, Partner, Oxford Capital Partners

29 July 2013 | The Exchange, 28 London Bridge St, SE1 9SG

'Can poor product nutrition profiles put company value at risk?'

Speakers included:

Chair: Mark Driscoll, Head of Food at Forum for the Future

Ben Caldecott, Programme Director and Research Fellow, The Smith School of Enterprise and the Environment

Simon Howard, CEO, UK Sustainable Investment and Finance Association

On Friday 12 July, Forum for the Future launched a new report which examines value at risk in the food sector from a new perspective. It explores how some assets in the food sector Ð including both physical assets and brand value - risk becoming stranded or losing significant value, as consumer demand for products with better health and nutrition outcomes continues to grow and government reactions against increasing prevalence of diet-related disease escalates. You can read more in their blog.

This roundtable discussion explored what companies and investors can do to both position themselves for success in the face of changes in the health and nutrition agenda and to drive a big shifttowards a food system fit to provide nutrition for 9 billion people.

16 July 2013 | Edelman, Southside, 105 Victoria Street, London SW1E 6Qt

'Transitioning energy investment into clean technologies'

Speakers included:

Chair: Nick Hay, Director, Cleantech, Edelman UK

Ben Caldecott, Programme Director and Research Fellow, The Smith School of Enterprise and the Environment

George Day, Head of Economic Strategy, The Energy Technologies Institute (ETI)

The event at Edelman UK was about financial markets and their ability to finance required investement in renewable energy and to what extend environment-related risks might strand assets.

23 June 2013 | CCLA Investment Management, 85 Queen Victoria Street, London, EC4V 4ET

Church Investors Group Conference:

Beyond Al Gore: Climate Change What Can Church Investors Do?

Speakers included:

Chair: Stephanie Pfeifer; Executive Director Institutional Investors Group on Climate Change

Nick Robins, Head, HSBC Centre for Climate Change Excellence

Angus McCrone, Managing Editor, Bloomberg New Energy Finance

Ben Caldecott, Programme Director and Research Fellow, The Smith School of Enterprise and the Environment

Susan Makos, Vice President of Social Reponsibility, Mercy Investment Services

On Friday 19th October 2012, Al Gore came to St Paul's Cathedral in London to speak to an invited audience of Church investors, businesses, investment managers and our fellow asset owners with a vision of how capitalism might be renewed in a sustainable way. He reminded investors of their obligation to future generations stating that they "will ask of us, what were you thinking? Was your attention focussed elsewhere? They'll ask if we rose to the difficult challenge we face." This session discussed practical steps that Church investors can, and have, taken to respond to this challenge.

8 May 2013 | SSEE, Hayes House, 75 George Street, Oxford OX1 2BQ

'How Global Carbon Constraints Could Impact The Oil Sector’s Creditworthiness'


Michael Wilkins - Managing Director, Infrastructure Finance Ratings, Standard & Poor’s , London

An increasingly carbon-constrained world could pose formidable challenges for the global oil sector, according to a report published by Standard & Poor’s Ratings Services and Carbon Tracker Initiative. In this talk Standard & Poor’s managing director Michael Wilkins assessed the implications of such a scenario on moderately sized, independent, unconventional oil companies as well as major oil and gas producers.

11 February 2013 | Saïd Business School, Park End Street, Oxford OX1 1HP

'Carbon Lock-in, Path Dependencies and Asset Stranding'


Rt Hon John Gummer, Lord Deben Chairman of the Committee on Climate Change

Chaired by Prof Gordon Clark, Director of the Smith School of Enterprise and the Environment

Watch video

SAP Scenarios Paper Cover

Stranded Assets and Scenarios

28 January 2014 | Authors: Ben Caldecott, James Tilbury, Christian Carey | Discussion Paper

Scenarios can help investors, firms and policy makers increase the resilience of assets by making them better prepared for inherently hard to predict events. In this high-level discussion paper we review existing scenarios to determine trends and gaps in the literature and propose a general type of scenario that would be most useful for the management of stranded asset risks.

SAP Working Paper Cover

Stranded Generation Assets: Implications for European Capacity Mechanisms, Energy Markets and Climate Policy

17 January 2014 | Authors: Ben Caldecott, Jeremy McDaniels | Working Paper

An increasing number of major EU utilities have decided to mothball or prematurely close recently built, high-efficiency combined-cycle gas turbine (CCGT) power plants. This working paper examines how EU utilities are reacting, how these stranded assets are affecting firm value and strategy, and what implications may exist for energy market design, low-carbon energy and climate policy.

SAP China Report Cover

Stranded Down Under? Environment-related Factors Changing China's Demand for Coal and What this Means for Australian Coal Assets

16 December 2013 | Authors: Ben Caldecott, James Tilbury, Yuge Ma | Report

China's demand for coal is changing as a result of environment-related factors, including environmental regulation, developments in cleaner technologies, local pollution, improving energy efficiency, changing resource landscapes and political activism. We look at how this evolving demand picture could then translate into impacts on the coal price and then on the stranded asset risks faced by coal and coal-related assets in Australia - a country that is a large and growing coal exporter to China.

SAP Report Cover

Stranded Assets and the Fossil Fuel Divestment Campaign: What Does Divestment Mean for the Valuation of Fossil Fuel Assets?

8 October 2013 | Authors: Atif Ansar, Ben Caldecott, James Tilbury | Report

The fossil fuel divestment campaign has rapidly gained traction throughout university campuses and elsewhere since its launch. As part of our research we test whether the divestment campaign could affect fossil fuel assets and if so, how, to what extent, and over which time horizons. We also look at the similarities and differences between this campaign and others, such as tobacco and apartheid.

SAP Report Cover

Stranded Assets in Agriculture: Protecting Value from Environment-related Risks

9 August 2013 | Authors: Ben Caldecott, Nicholas Howarth, Patrick McSharry | Report

This report maps out environment-related risks in the agricultural supply chain and shows how they might create stranded assets over time. We have systematised the different risk factors and have completed an assessment of where and how risks might affect agricultural assets. We have also completed a high-level Value at Risk (VaR) assessment to give an indication of the magnitudes of capital exposed and to stimulate further work in this area.


Australia could be caught out by Chinese peak in coal demand

17 December 2013 | China Dialogue by Ben Caldecott

Falling Chinese demand for coal could impact the viability of Australian coal projects.

Steps to deal with emerging risks of stranded assets

5 December 2013 | Pensions & Investments by Ben Caldecott

Changes in environmental regulations and technologies could quickly erode the value of assets in various sectors including energy and real estate. Ben Caldecott, Director of the Stranded Assets Programme at the Smith School of Enterprise and the Environment, Oxford University, offers steps to deal with emerging risks of so-called "stranded assets".

What does divestment mean for the valuation of fossil fuel assets?

8 October 2013 | Business Green by Ben Caldecott

Ben Caldecott explains why fossil fuel investors and companies should be concerned about the emerging divestment trend.

The environment: The carbon bubble

5 September 2013 | The Actuary

Catherine Cameron, Elisa Hewlett, Simon Jones and Paula Robinson evaluate the current carbon budget commitment and the implications for fossil fuel investments.

Stranded assets in Agriculture: Are we facing a multi-trillion dollar agri-bubble?

9 August 2013 | Business Green opinion piece by Ben Caldecott

Writing in BusinessGreen, Ben Caldecott highlights the need for investors and asset managers in the agricultural supply chain to prioritise environmental factors in their risk management strategies.

Bank of England's opportunity to tackle market failure

6 February 2012 | The Guardian by Ben Caldecott and James Leaton

Writing in The Guardian, Ben Caldecott and James Leaton recommend that the Bank of England investigate the financial system's exposure to high carbon and environmentally unsustainable investments.

High-carbon investment and systemic risk

12 July 2011 | The Guardian by Ben Caldecott

Writing in The Guardian, Ben Caldecott explores how markets might be fundamentally mispricing risk and as a result, creating a systemic risk that threatens long-term growth.


We are currently supported by generous donations from the Ashden Trust, Aviva Investors, Bunge Ltd, Craigmore Sustainables, the Generation Foundation, HSBC Holdings plc, the Rothschild Foundation and WWF-UK.

Ashden Trust Aviva Investors Bunge Ltd Craigmore Farming Generation Foundation HSBC Rothschild Foundation WWF-UK

Our non-funding partners are Standard & Poor’s, Carbon Disclosure Project, TruCost, Ceres, Carbon Tracker Initiative, Asset Owners Disclosure Project, 2° Investing Initiative and RISKERGY.

Standard & Poors CDP TruCost Cerer Carbon Tracker Initiative Asset Owners Disclosure Project 2 degree Investing Initiative RISKERGY
The Rothschild Foundation

Stranded Assets Forum at Waddesdon Manor | Rothschild Foundation

14 & 15 March 2014 | Waddesdon Manor | Aylesbury, Bucks, HP18 0JH

Download the agenda

The Rothschild Foundation and the Smith School of Enterprise and the Environment have the pleasure of announcing the First Forum on Stranded Assets taking place at Waddesdon Manor, a National Trust property in the heart of Buckinghamshire built by Baron Ferdinand de Rothschild in 1874.

There are a wide range of environment-related risks that could result in 'stranded assets', where assets suffer from unanticipated or premature write-downs and devaluations. These risks range from climate change, through to new environmental regulations, developments in clean energy technology, and litigation, and these are poorly understood and regularly mispriced.

The Stranded Assets Forum will bring together a select number of key people from across the investment chain to better understand these risks, their consequences and how to develop effective responses to the challenges they could generate.

The March 2014 Forum is the first of a series at Waddesdon Manor on stranded assets over 2014 and 2015.

Research Network

Global Stranded Assets Research Network

The University of Oxford is hosting a new global research network and hub on 'stranded assets'. The purpose of this international network is to bring together leading researchers, research institutions and practitioners working on these and related issues to share expertise and begin research collaborations. The network was established in November 2013 and plans to meet annually and have regular conference calls, as well as an online community.

To join the Global Stranded Assets Research Network, please apply to the network co-ordinator, .

Global Advisory Council

The Global Stranded Assets Advisory Council has been created to guide our work and is chaired by Professor Gordon Clark, Director of the Smith School. It also provides a high-level forum for work on stranded assets to be co-ordinated internationally. Members currently include:

  • Vicki Bakhshi, Director, Head of Governance & Sustainable Investment, F&C Asset Management
  • Philippe Benoit, Head, Energy Efficiency and Environment Division, International Energy Agency
  • Robin Bidwell, Group President, ERM
  • David Blood, Co-Founder and Senior Partner, Generation IM
  • Yvo de Boer, Special Global Adviser, Climate Change and Sustainability, KPMG
  • James Cameron, Chairman, Climate Change Capital and Overseas Development Institute
  • Mike Clark, Institute and Faculty of Actuaries, also Director, Responsible Investment, Russell Investments
  • Professor Robert Eccles, Professor of Management Practice, Harvard Business School
  • Professor Charles Godfray, Director, Oxford Martin Programme on the Future of Food
  • Ben Goldsmith, Founding Partner, WHEB
  • Thomas Heller, Executive Director, Climate Policy Initiative
  • Anthony Hobley, CEO, Carbon Tracker Initiative
  • Catherine Howarth, CEO, ShareAction
  • Michael Jacobs, Senior Advisor, IDDRI
  • Zoe Knight, Head, Climate Change Centre of Excellence, HSBC
  • Roland Kupers, Chairman, LEAD International
  • Bernice Lee, Director, Climate Change and Resource Initiatives, World Economic Forum
  • Michael Liebreich, Chairman, Advisory Board, Bloomberg New Energy Finance
  • Mindy Lubber, President, Ceres
  • Nick Mabey, CEO, E3G
  • Craig Mackenzie, Investment Director and Head of Sustainability, SWIP
  • Richard Mattison, CEO, Trucost
  • David Nussbaum, CEO, WWF-UK
  • Stephanie Pfeifer, CEO, Institutional Investors Group on Climate Change
  • Julian Poulter, Executive Director, Asset Owners Disclosure Project
  • Nick Robins, Co-Director, UNEP Inquiry into a Sustainable Financial System
  • Paul Simpson, CEO, Carbon Disclosure Project
  • James Stacey, Partner, Earth Capital Partners LLP
  • James Thornton, CEO, ClientEarth
  • Simon Upton, Director, Environment Directorate, OECD
  • Steve Waygood, Chief Responsible Investment Officer, Aviva Investors
  • Michael Wilkins, Managing Director, Infrastructure Finance Ratings, Standard & Poor’s
  • Simon Zadek, Tsinghua School of Economics and Management
  • Dimitri Zenghelis, Principal Research Fellow, Grantham Institute, London School of Economics