News Archive

2017

September 2017

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June 2017

May 2017

April 2017

March 2017

February 2017

January 2017

2016

December 2016

November 2016

October 2016

September 2016

August 2016

July 2016

  • CDP, Oxford University working on asset-level climate risk data initiative, Responsible Investor
    Oxford University's Smith School of Enterprise and Environment is pushing for a new asset-level data initiative to help investors assess climate-related risks. The initiative is in the process of being developed in partnership with Stanford University and environmental data group CDP, among others.

June 2016

May 2016

April 2016

March 2016

February 2016

January 2016

2015

December 2015

November 2015

October 2015

  • Does Divestment Work? - The New Yorker
    Beginning in the early nineteen-eighties, students on college campuses across the U.S. demanded that their universities stop investing in companies that conducted business in South Africa, in protest of the apartheid system. As an example of social activism, the campaign was a phenomenal success: by the end of the decade, about a hundred and fifty educational institutions had divested. But did the campaign succeed in pressuring the South African government to dismantle apartheid?

September 2015

  • Breaking the Tragedy of the Horizon - climate change and financial Stability - Speech given by Mark Carney, Governor of the Bank of England on 29 September 2015
    The Smith School of Enterprise and the Environment at the University of Oxford, and the Oxford Martin School's Safe Carbon Investment Initiative, warmly welcomes Governor Carney's speech on climate change at Lloyd's of London and the accompanying Bank of England report on climate change and insurance. The Smith School was one of a number of signatories to an open letter to the Bank of England on this issue back in January 2012 and we are glad to see that this important topic has gained traction and attention. In addition, Ben Caldecott, Director of the Smith School's Stranded Assets Programme has been collaborating closely on these topics with the Bank of England and the Prudential Regulation Authority as an Academic Visitor. We are proud to have been able to contribute to the development of this research agenda via our own research leadership, but also by supporting the work of other institutions in the UK and internationally.

August 2015

July 2015

  • Lack of diversity on boards of US oil firms 'increases risk' of bad investments - The Guardian
    Oxford University study finds boards with fewer women and foreign nationals susceptible to making poor investment choices over risks like climate change.
  • Church of England says no to fossil fuels - DW
    Last month's papal encyclical on climate change told Catholics to go green. Meanwhile, the Church of England has gone a step further. Anglicans are now also part of the fast-growing fossil fuel divestment movement.
  • Joining the movement - DW
    In the lead up to the global climate talks in Paris in December, the Church of England has taken a stand on climate change. Joining a fast growing, global divestment movement, the Church of England announced it's pulling its support and money from fossil fuels.

June 2015

  • A $23 Billion Stock Drop Shows India's Rising Water Risks - Bloomberg
    About half of the country's 1.26 billion people face potential surface-water supply disruptions, setting the stage for clashes with thirsty industries just as Prime Minister Narendra Modi seeks to make his nation a manufacturing power. And India isn't alone: From Africa to the Americas, surging demand is exacerbating a global water deficit as groundwater diminishes.
  • A $23 Billion Stock Drop Shows India's Rising Water Risks - The Sydney Morning Herald
  • University of Oxford's Stranded Assets Programme identify coal companies that breach new 30% divestment threshold with the help of MSCI carbon data

    The University of Oxford's Smith School of Enterprise and the Environment has combined its data with carbon metrics data from the index and research provider, MSCI, to examine the companies impacted by the Friday 5th June vote by the Norwegian Parliament. The vote will force Norway's $945bn Government Pension Fund Global to divest from coal companies. Mining companies that derive 30% or more of their revenues from coal and power companies that base 30% or more of their activities on coal are affected.

    The Smith School and MSCI have identified all the companies globally that exceed these new thresholds. Further analysis will be published later in June, but today the Top 20 listed coal miners and Top 20 listed utilities that breach the 30% threshold are being published. This data will be key for investors taking coal divestment decisions. The Top 20 mining list includes Peabody Energy, Arch Coal, Consol Energy, Sasol, Coal India, and China Shenhua Energy. The Top 20 power company list includes Duke Energy, Southern, Eskom, RWE, and China Hauneng. This list was prepared using data from the new Stranded Assets Database held at the Smith School.

    Ben Caldecott, Director of the Stranded Assets Programme at the Smith School said, "The Norwegian vote is a hugely significant development and moves the divestment debate from upstream mining to power generation. The new 30% threshold for divesting from utilities may become a standard that other large investors decide to follow."

  • Coal under siege as researchers release Norwegian fund divestment hit list - Business Green
    University of Oxford study details the top 40 companies facing divestment from Norwegian pension fund following crucial vote.

May 2015

April 2015

March 2015

February 2015

  • What has the divestment movement achieved so far? - RTCC
    Fossil fuel companies are feeling the pressure from a climate campaign that started in 2011. What has got them spooked?
  • Fossil fuel lobby goes on the attack against divesment movement - The Guardian
    The speed at which the fossil fuel divestment campaign is growing seems to have rattled its opponents in the coal and oil lobbies. The speed is appropriate given that the campaign, which argues the fossil fuel industry is a danger to both the climate and investors' capital, is the fastest growing divestment campaign yet seen, moving quicker than those against tobacco and apartheid.
  • The Best Technology for Fighting Climate Change? Trees - The Atlantic
    When people talk about technologies that might offset climate change, they often evoke not-yet-invented marvels, like planes spraying chemicals into the atmosphere or enormous skyscrapers gulping carbon dioxide from the clouds. But in a new report, Oxford University researchers say that our best hopes might not be so complex.
  • Scientists Seeking to Save World Find Best Technology Is Trees - Blomberg Business
    Oxford University scientists, after a year of research, have determined the best technology to suck carbon dioxide from the atmosphere and try to reverse global warming. It's trees.

January 2015

  • Coal carbon capture could increase future climate risks, study finds - The Carbon Brief
    Coal-fired power stations should be replaced by low-carbon energy sources rather than retrofitted with carbon capture and storage (CCS), according to new research from the University of Oxford. he study dents the idea that coal can be compatible with climate action as long as it uses CCS. It says finite CCS capacity should be held in reserve in case negative emissions technologies are needed to return dangerous greenhouse gas concentrations to a safe level after 2050.
  • Could planting trees help ease carbon budgets? - Business Green
    "No regrets" negative emission technologies could allow 11 per cent more emissions by 2050, says new study, but bulk of fossil fuel reserves would still have to stay in ground.
  • The Logic of Divestment: Why We Have to Kiss Off Big Carbon Now - Rolling Stone
    As climate-change activists pressure public institutions to dump their fossil-fuel investments, it's becoming increasingly clear that the right thing to do is also the smart thing to do.
  • Announcing the 1st Global Conference on Stranded Assets
    The University of Oxford's Smith School of Enterprise and the Environment invites researchers and interested practitioners to a major academic conference on stranded assets and the environment on 24th-25th September 2015. As the first international and interdisciplinary conference on the topic, we expect the event to lead to a special issue in a leading journal and result in new research projects, networks, and partnerships.

2014

December 2014

November 2014

October 2014

September 2014

August 2014

July 2014

June 2014

  • Pension funds urged to publish climate risks - The Financial Times
    There are growing calls for pension funds to publish their carbon exposure as concern builds over the long-term investments risks of carbon-intensive portfolios. Peter Norman, Sweden's minister for financial markets, says he wants global pension funds to "published their carbon footprint". He hopes that increasing transparency will leads to a more "thorough and direct" discussion about the risks.
  • Keep the climate, change the economy - The Guardian
    The UN says we need to make a 'massive shift' to renewables to curb climate change. How can we encourage investors?
  • Under fire Australian miners look to repair their image - Financial Times
    Success of campaigns against business plans which damage environment threatens project funding for new schemes to develop mineral resources.
  • Ben Caldecott quoted in China Energy News
    Stranded Assests Programme Director Ben Caldecott's Op-ed on Stranded Assets for the China Energy News.

May 2014

  • Are Australia's coal reserves at risk of becoming stranded assets?
    Interview with Ben Caldecott for Australian Ethical Investment.
  • Can Harvard be on the 'wrong side of history'? - ClimateWire
    On Thursday, May 1, at around seven in the morning, 20-year-old college student Brett Roche was placed in handcuffs. His crime: standing in front of a door. But it wasn't just any door. It belonged to Harvard University and led to the office of its president, Drew Gilpin Faust. Roche's decision to defy orders from campus police to "move out of the way" was just one of many actions taken as part of a growing global movement that is calling on educational and religious establishments, cities and states to divest their finances from fossil fuels.
  • Are Oil and Gas Reserves an Econominc Curse or Cure - The Times
    When governments and other national stakeholders take control of oil and gas reserves, there can be disadvantages as well as the seemingly obvious advantages.

April 2014

  • ABC Radio National's Big Ideas Programme
    Lecture by Ben Caldecott, Director of the Stranded Assets Programme is broadcast on the Australian Broadcasting Corporation's Radio National. John Hewson, former Leader of the Australian Liberal Party and Jemma Green, Research Fellow at Curtin University also speak. Show presented by Paul Barclay. Measures to offset the impact of climate change are likely to reduce demand for fossil fuels. So is it wise to continue to invest in fossil fuels or will they end up as stranded assets with a huge loss in value? Investment analysts discuss the need for governments and private companies to manage environment-related risks. Listen to the Programme.
  • Raj Thamotheram: the fossil fuel divestment debate: Is there a consensus way forward? - Responsible Investor
    First in a trilogy of articles examining the growing divestment campaign and where it could lead.
  • Desmond Tutu calls for anti-apartheid style boycott of fossil fuel industry - The Guardian
    Nobel peace prize winner calls for organisations to cut ties with industry and for investors to dump fossil fuel stocks.
  • 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."
  • 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 University correspondence reveals secretive attitude over fossil fuel investments - The West Australian
    Confidential correspondence between senior Monash University executives shows a secretive attitude on how much money the university is making from fossil fuel investments.
  • Coal's $1.8 trillion bad joke - Macrobusiness
  • Coalminers starting to count the cost of activist pressure on funding - The Sydney Morning Herald
    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.
  • Coalminers starting to count the cost of activist pressure on funding - The Canberra Times
    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.
  • 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.
  • 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'?
  • 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.
  • 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 can't 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

2013

December 2013

November 2013

October 2013

September 2013

August 2013

June 2013

March 2013

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.