To search the OxSFG news archive try your browser's in-page search function (command+F on a Mac, or Ctrl+F in Windows).
16/12/2022 | New research will integrate biodiversity and finance
Nicola Ranger and Steven Reece have been announced by UKRI-NERC as project leads on three biodiversity projects. Steven is leading on Science-based markets for nature recovery and Robust environmental, social and governance data for biodiversity, and Nicola is leading on Integrating nature-climate scenarios and analytics for financial decision-making.
18/05/2022 | ESG experts "extremely concerned" over reports that UK green taxonomy will include natural gas
Article from Responsible Investor (Paywall).
17/05/2022 | Finance giants and green groups ‘extremely concerned’ at reports that UK’s green finance taxonomy will include gas
Reports that the UK’s forthcoming finance taxonomy will categorise activities across the natural gas supply chain as ‘green’ have sparked widespread backlash across the green economy.
16/05/2022 | Regulatory Briefing: UK‘s U-turn on green taxonomy
Green finance groups have reacted angrily to news that the UK government may weaken its sustainable taxonomy by including natural gas.
16/05/2022 | Climate security is energy security': Alok Sharma urges world to 'break dependency on fossil fuels
In speech to mark sixth month anniversary of Glasgow Summit, COP26 President argues 'net zero means security, prosperity, and preventing the problems of the present from growing inexorably'
03/03/22 | The EU taxonomy needs rescuing
In 2019, Oxford Sustainable Finance Group Director Ben Caldecott named 10 reasons why the EU's then current proposals for a green taxonomy were a bad idea. Speaking to IPE in 2022, he stated: "At best, a green taxonomy is one helpful tool among many for some use cases... By far the most important use case actually has very little to do with finance and investing, but rather fiscal policy. If governments want to support 'green' things, they need to define what is green."
10/11/21 | Stay or sell? The $110tn investment industry gets tougher on climate (paywall)
Some asset managers are tiring of quiet conversations with companies about emissions and are now threatening to divest. Article in the Financial Times features comment from Dr Ben Caldecott, Director of the Oxford Sustainable Finance Group.
Lucas Kruitwagen explains the findings of his recent research with Descartes Labs and the World Resources Institute in The Conversation. He highlights the need to 'carefully consider the impact that a ten-fold expansion of solar PV generating capacity will have in the coming decades on food systems, biodiversity, and lands used by vulnerable populations.'
04/11/21 | Does the maths on Mark Carney's $130tn net zero pledge stack up? (paywall)
'Greenwashing' fears over eye-catching headline number committed to decarbonisation. Article in the Financial Times features comment from Dr Ben Caldecott, Director of the Oxford Sustainable Finance Group.
Mark Carney, the former central banker turned climate finance envoy, says the banking industry is about to deliver 'hard numbers' to show it can wipe out its carbon footprint. Article in Bloomberg Green features comment from Dr Ben Caldecott, Director of the Oxford Sustainable Finance Group.
The number of solar energy installations across the world soared by more than 81% from 2016 to 2018, according to ground-breaking research from an international Oxford University-led team. Solar energy is key to meeting net zero targets, with International Energy Agency (IEA) projections showing a ten-fold increase by 2040 necessary if the goals of the Paris Agreement are to be met. The research, published in Nature, was conducted in collaboration with Descartes Labs and World Resources Institute (WRI).
Economic net-zero is set to start in the UK. In its Greening Finance roadmap published yesterday ahead of COP26 in Glasgow, the UK Government confirmed that it will introduce mandatory sustainability disclosures across the economy that will incorporate the requirement to disclose net-zero transition plans on a comply or explain basis. This is a world first. Its implementation now needs to be accelerated and copied internationally.
Article on the BBC includes expert comment by Dr Ben Caldecott, director of the Oxford Sustainable Finance Programme.
An Oxford University and University College Cork study today reveals the scale of the challenge facing large power companies in the EU and UK if they delay aligning their portfolios with net zero. Dr Ben Caldecott, a co-author and the Director of the Oxford Sustainable Finance Programme and the Lombard Odier Associate Professor of Sustainable Finance at the University of Oxford said, 'To avoid negative impacts on share prices, credit ratings, and financial returns, we find that European power companies should increase spending on green technologies early on, to generate new income streams that will mitigate future stranded fossil fuel assets.'
Growth in natural gas capacity is substantially less affected by environmental policies, such as carbon pricing, than coal, concludes a new University of Oxford study published today in iScience. The findings are cause for concern because, although gas can play a useful role in balancing grids which use intermittent renewable energy sources, an expansion in gas capacity increases the risk of carbon lock-in and stranded assets.
15/07/21 | First systematic review of spatial finance highlights potential of satellite data and A.I. for greening finance
On July 15, the Spatial Finance Initiative, part of the UK Centre for Greening Finance and Investment (CGFI), will launch a new report into the current use, and future potential of, these rapidly advancing technologies within finance.
09/07/21 | Lombard Odier and Oxford in landmark research collaboration on sustainable finance and investment
Professor Louise Richardson, Vice-Chancellor of the University of Oxford and Hubert Keller, Co-Senior Partner of the banking group Lombard Odier have officially signed a multi-year partnership to foster sustainable finance and investment research, with a particular focus on climate change, circular economy and nature.
Article in IPE, includes expert comment by Dr Ben Caldecott, director of the Oxford Sustainable Finance Programme.
Fossil-fuel financing by U.S. fixed-income ETFs increased by 72% in 2020 after funds bought large quantities of new bonds issued amid the COVID-19 crisis. Article in Pensions and Investments features new Oxford Sustainable Finance Programme report and comment from Dr Ben Caldecott, director of the Oxford Sustainable Finance Programme.
Central bankers look at powerful tool to nudge financial system to address climate risks. Article in the Financial Times mentions a recently published study by the Oxford Sustainable Finance Programme.
Financial institutions with over $70 trillion in assets have pledged to achieve net zero portfolios and loanbooks by 2050, including meeting ambitious interim 2030 targets. However, new research by the Oxford Sustainable Finance Programme reveals that passive funds not only hold fossil fuel assets, but directly finance them by buying large quantities of new bonds issued by fossil fuel companies.
09/09/21 | Miners' troubles show need for climate 'bad banks' (paywall)
The transition to net zero may need new models to quarantine 'stranded' toxic assets and run them down. Article in the Financial Times includes expert comment by Dr Ben Caldecott, director of the Oxford Sustainable Finance Programme.
Dr Ben Caldecott will contribute to a new independent group set up by HM Treasury to help tackle greenwashing in financial services. The expert group will support investors, consumers and businesses to make green financial decisions.
25/05/21 | Big banks' big footprint: UK financial institutions responsible for double UK's annual carbon emissions, report warns (paywall)
Green campaigners warn City of London would be ninth biggest emitter of CO2 in world if it was a country in fresh analysis of financial sector's environmental impact. Features comment from Dr Ben Caldecott, director of the Oxford Sustainable Finance Programme.
22/05/21 | Green Finance Goes Mainstream, Lining Up Trillions Behind Global Energy Transition (paywall)
After years of intermittent excitement and fizzled expectations, environmental-oriented investing is no longer just a niche interest. Article in the Wall Street Journal, quotes a recent study by the Oxford Sustainable Finance Programme.
A debt-for-climate swap plan is expected from the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank ahead of COP26. If fit for purpose, it could be highly effective in addressing spiralling low and middle-income country debt and the climate crisis. Features comment from Nicola Ranger, head of climate and environmental risk research at the Oxford Sustainable Finance Programme.
Data reveals the cost of financing coal projects globally is rocketing, while it is getting cheaper to finance renewables. The price of oil and gas projects, however, remains stable. Features comment from Dr Ben Caldecott, director of the Oxford Sustainable Finance Programme.
Coverage in Quartz of a new study by the Sustainable Finance Programme which finds credit markets are starting to price in the transition to a low carbon economy.
New research from the Sustainable Finance Programme tracks how the financing costs for energy projects, measured through loan spreads, have changed over the past 20 years and finds that financial institutions are viewing renewables as less risky and coal as more so. Oil and gas financing costs have exhibited significantly less change.
Coverage of a new study by the Sustainable Finance Programme which finds returns must repay four times the payoff from clean energy investment to justify escalating risk. Guardian article features comment from Dr Ben Caldecott, director of the Oxford Sustainable Finance Programme.
19/04/21 | 'Good news': Study charts contrasting fortunes for coal and renewables financing costs (paywall)
Landmark analysis from Oxford Sustainable Finance Programme reveals costs of financing coal projects have soared over the past decade, while renewable energy financing costs have moved in the opposite direction. Article in Business Green.
Coverage in Bloomberg Green of a new study by the Sustainable Finance Programme which finds credit markets are starting to price in the transition to a low carbon economy.
With the UK assessing the template set by the EU in 2019, investors and intermediaries are anxious about the implications of regional differences. The evidence suggests there's no reason to be. Features comment from Dr Ben Caldecott, director of the Oxford Sustainable Finance Programme.
Influential policy experts have urged UK rulemakers to update banks' capital charges to incorporate environmental risks. Article on Responsible Investor features Dr Ben Caldecott's new report calling for assets with high environmental risk to be subject to higher capital charges.
Galina Alova and Dr Philipp Trotter discuss, in The Conversation, their recently published study showing that, within this decade, there is currently limited evidence for a quick transition to renewables in Africa.
25/02/21 | COP26: Mark Carney accused of 'greenwashing' ahead of UK climate summit (paywall)
The government faces questions over Mark Carney's role in this year's climate talks after his claims that the company where he works has "net zero" emissions were dismissed as "greenwash", writes The Times. With comment from Ben Caldecott, Director of the Oxford Sustainable Finance Programme.
25/02/21 | Mark Carney Walks Back Brookfield Net-Zero Claim After Criticism (paywall)
By describing Brookfield's $600 billion portfolio as carbon neutral, a key climate-finance leader provoked a backlash by questioning what 'net zero' really means, writes Bloomberg Green. With comment from Ben Caldecott, Director of the Oxford Sustainable Finance Programme.
15/02/21 | UK launches new Oxford-led research centre to accelerate the 'greening' of the global financial system
The UK is putting environmental issues at the heart of global finance with £10 million in backing to create a new Oxford-led research centre which will advise lenders, investors and insurers, enabling them to make better decisions to support a greener global economy.
09/02/21 | Capitalism is Struggling with the Language of Climate Change (paywall)
The technical terminology of science can sometimes be muddled in powerful climate messages from finance and political leaders, writes Bloomberg. With comment from Ben Caldecott, Director of the Oxford Sustainable Finance Programme.
The Bank of England told banks and businesses to start assessing the risks they face from climate change immediately, and brace to pay much more for polluting, writes Bloomberg. With comment from Ben Caldecott, Director of the Oxford Sustainable Finance Programme.
13/01/21 | Oxford University and Lombard Odier launch strategic partnership on Sustainable Investment
The multi-year partnership will create the first endowed professorship of sustainable finance at any major global research university. Dr Ben Caldecott has been appointed the first holder of the post and will become the Lombard Odier Associate Professor and Senior Research Fellow of Sustainable Finance at the University of Oxford, based at the Smith School of Enterprise and the Environment.
13/01/21 | Oxford University and Lombard Odier strategic partnership on sustainable investment (paywall)
Extensive media coverage of this new partnership includes: Lombard Odier Teams Up With Oxford on Sustainable Finance [Bloomberg] / Lombard Odier ties up with Oxford University on staff training, research sharing and strengthening 'academic rigour' for sustainable finance [Responsible Investor] - Lombard Odier and Oxford University unite for sustainable finance push [Citywire] / University of Oxford and Lombard Odier launch sustainable investment partnership [International Investment.net] / Oxford University announces first professorship in sustainable finance [Business Green].
New research uses machine learning to predict that total electricity generation across the African continent will double by 2030, with fossil fuels continuing to dominate the energy mix and posing potential risk to global climate change commitments. The study, published in Nature Energy, was led by Galina Alova with co-authors Philipp Trotter and Alex Money. [Extensive media coverage including BBC, Reuters, Forbes, Bloomberg and more]
21/12/20 | How can we create a greener future?
As UK citizens, should we all be doing more to make our money matter? Writing in the Telegraph, Ben Caldecott, Director of Oxford's Sustainable Finance Programme, encourages individuals to invest in companies that can prove their environmental credentials. "Getting our capital to speed up the transition to environmental sustainability is a key lever and one of the most important ones we have."
13/12/20 | 'A quantum leap for climate action': UK pledges to end support for overseas oil and gas projects (paywall)
The UK will cut off all taxpayer support for new overseas oil, gas, and coal projects ahead of COP26, in move that has been applauded by campaigners, economists, and opposition parties, writes Business Green. With comment from Ben Caldecott.
Today the UK's Committee on Climate Change released its Sixth Carbon Budget: The UK's path to Net Zero. The report includes substantive contributions from Cameron Hepburn, Chair of the CCC's Policy Advisory Group Ben Caldecott, member of the CCC's Finance Advisory Group, and the CREDS UK team, led by Nick Eyre. [Covered extensively by UK media]
02/12/20 | Bonds Aimed at Heavy Corporate Emitters Set to Roll Out in 2021 (paywall)
The next thing in green investing is a new kind of debt designed to help fund the trillions of dollars needed to wean the world from carbon, writes Bloomberg Green. These 'transition bonds' are being developed for fossil-fuel companies and other heavy corporate emitters. With comment from Ben Caldecott.
'Starting in 2025, U.K. companies will have to disclose the extent to which their operations are exposed to the risks posed by global warming. Mandatory disclosures will force businesses to give investors and consumers the information they need to make decisions in rapidly warming world,' writes Bloomberg Green. With commentary from Ben Caldecott, director of Oxford's Sustainable Finance Programme, who highlights the need for good data to push companies to change.
05/11/20 | Investors Gauge Future Climate Risks With Satellite Imaging (paywall)
Asset managers are analyzing pictures and data taken from outer space to predict the physical impacts of global warming, writes Bloomberg Green. The article explores pioneering work by Smith School partner Lombard Odier to use geospatial data in risk analysis. It also explores new research from the Spatial Finance Initiative at the Smith School, led by Ben Caldecott.
Researchers from across the University of Oxford, led by Ben Caldecott and Eli Mitchell-Larson, have launched new carbon offsetting principles to ensure the 'net' in net zero is credible. The guidelines provide a key resource for the design and delivery of rigorous voluntary net zero commitments by government, cities and companies around the world.
28/09/20 | Shell slims down to shape up for the energy transition (paywall)
The FT covers Royal Dutch Shell's net zero emissions strategy and plans. With comment from Ben Caldecott.
10/09/20 | Oxford University and Lombard Odier launch strategic partnership on Sustainable Investment
The multi-year partnership will create the first endowed professorship of sustainable finance at any major global research university. The post will be hosted in the Smith School of Enterprise and Environment at the School of Geography and the Environment. [Also covered by Bloomberg Green, Business Green, Responsible Investment, IPE and others]
New research finds electric utility companies are undermining the global transition to net zero emissions. Only 10 percent of companies have prioritised renewable capacity and many of those continue to invest in fossil fuels as well. The study, led by Galina Alova, was published today in Nature Energy and covered by the Guardian, BBC, and others.
15/07/20 | Better company environmental, social, and governance (ESG) performance improves economic growth
New research from the Smith School finds that private sector companies' environmental, social, and governance (ESG) practices positively affect macroeconomic performance including GDP. In a working paper, Oxford Sustainable Finance Programme researchers Xiaoyu Zhou, Ben Caldecott, and Elizabeth Harnett perform the first empirical study to examine the effect of firm-level ESG practices on macroeconomic performance across both developed and emerging economies.
23/05/20 | Carbon pricing, offsetting needed to tackle climate change (paywall)
Two articles in the Economist's May 23 2020 edition include comment from Ben Caldecott, Director of the Oxford Sustainable Finance Programme and Associate Professor at the Smith School. New technology can enable better carbon offsetting - for example the use of high-resolution satellite imagery means that it is possible to know exactly when a tree is cut down. The edition also features Smith School research on the green economic recovery from Covid-19.
07/04/20 | Resilience post Covid-19 (paywall)
After the coronavirus we need to review how to increase capacity and adaptability across the economy. Ben Caldecott, Director of Oxford's Sustainable Finance Programme, reflects on how short-run cost optimisation has resulted in systems that are not sufficiently resilient to shocks.
30/03/20 | Covid-19 bailouts, then what? (paywall)
Dr Ben Caldecott argues the clamour for green strings to be attached to bailout packages could be misguided - could government take a long term stake in struggling companies instead and demand bolder climate strategies as a shareholder?
06/03/20 | The $900 billion write-off of 'stranded energy assets' needed to make climate targets will be one of the biggest capital shifts ever
To meet the 1.5C global warming target, 84% of remaining fossil fuels would need to remain in the ground. Dr Ben Caldecott, director of the Oxford Sustainable Finance Program at the Smith School of Enterprise and Environment, provides comment in the National Post. [Original story in the Lex column, Financial Times]
There is a massive and sustained interest in aligning finance with sustainability. Individual savers, shareholders, politicians and regulators all have a part to play, writes Ben Caldecott for the Telegraph 'Power of Us' campaign.
The potential financial applications for satellite technology led researchers at the Oxford Sustainable Finance Programme to coin the term "spatial finance" and to launch an initiative last year with groups like the Green Finance Institute to foster the use of geospatial data in markets.
04/02/20 | Lex in depth: the $900bn cost of 'stranded energy assets' (paywall)
If the 1.5C climate target were to be met, over 80 per cent of hydrocarbon assets would be worthless. Ben Caldecott comments in the FT Lex column on the Smith School-led concept of stranded assets.
Following years-long student campaigns, some 78 of the UK's 154 public universities have committed to at least partially divest from fossil fuels. This includes a pledge from the University of Oxford to remove direct investment from coal and tar sand projects. However, divestment is not necessarily the only option. Dr Ben Caldecott spoke to the Financial Times about the impact of effective engagement and stewardship.
20/12/19 | Global Proxy Watch Top 10
Global Proxy Watch has named Dr Ben Caldecott as one of the 10 individuals who achieved breakthrough impact on corporate governance in 2019. Dr Caldecott was honoured as the founder of the fast-growing Global Research Alliance for Sustainable Finance and Investment. GPW is the newsletter of international corporate governance and stewardship, read by funds with more than US$30 trillion in assets.
11/11/19 | World Gold Council Points the Way for Gold Industry Resilience in the Face of Climate-related Risks
A new report offers a more comprehensive overview of the current status of gold's climate impacts and how the sector, and gold mining in particular, might decarbonise, in line with the objectives of the Paris Agreement. Extensive coverage worldwide featured comment from Ben Caldecott, Director of the Oxford Sustainable Finance Programme.
06/09/19 | Largest ever academic conference on sustainable finance takes place at the University of Oxford
The largest ever convening of academic researchers working on sustainable finance took place in Oxford from 3 to 6 September 2019. The Oxford Sustainable Finance Programme at the Smith School of Enterprise and the Environment hosted the 2nd Annual Conference of the Global Research Alliance for Sustainable Finance and Investment (GRASFI).
Sovereign Wealth Funds are uniquely placed to promote and implement the alignment of finance with the Paris Agreement and the Sustainable Development Goals. A new briefing paper provides guidance on integrating climate change into SWF governance and investment.
New report outlines a comprehensive approach to greening financial systems, mobilising finance for clean and resilient growth, and capturing the resulting opportunities for UK firms. It includes expectations that publicly listed companies will disclose how climate change risk impacts their activities.
30/06/19 | Banks need to get ahead of climate change, or else (paywall)
"Real economy cannot meet sustainability goals without help from financial sector, and while climate change is becoming an ever more important strategic concern for banks we still have a long way to go," says Dr Ben Caldecott in an op-ed for the Financial Times.
Dr Ben Caldecott, Director of the Smith School's Oxford Sustainable Finance Programme, is featured in an article on Quartz about the European Commission's new classification system that details what economic activities are green, and therefore what really counts as an environmentally sustainable investment.
20/06/19 | By defining 'green finance', the EU hopes it can kickstart low-carbon investment (paywall)
Bumper report from the European Commission sets out criteria to define sustainable finance in a bid to protect investors from 'greenwash'. Dr Ben Caldecott, Director of the Smith School's Oxford Sustainable Finance Programme, is featured in an article by BusinessGreen.
20/06/19 | How the EU's 'Marmite' taxonomy might help, or hinder, green finance (paywall)
The EU's green taxonomy is the Marmite of the sustainable finance world: some love it, some hate it. Sophie Robinson-Tillett explores in an article for Responsible Investor whether the EU looks close to accepting the TEG's recommendations, referencing a recent article by Dr Ben Caldecott, Director of the Smith School's Oxford Sustainable Finance Programme.
Should investors collectively prioritise engagement issues, and if so what is at the top of the list? This was one of the topics delegates discussed at the 8th Sustainable Finance Forum run by the Oxford University Smith School of Enterprise and the Environment together with The Rothschild Foundation and the KR Foundation.
10/06/19 | Oxford economists support parliamentary inquiry on 'unacceptable and hypocritical' fossil fuel investment
Economists at the Smith School at Oxford University have contributed to a new Environmental Audit Committee report, which concludes that the UK's financing of fossil fuel projects in developing countries is undermining its climate commitments and should end by 2021.
At a time when the effects of climate change and global warming are hard to ignore, experts believe the only way to counter this impact for a brighter future is for fossil fuel companies to halt oil and gas investments and focus on clean alternatives. Article by Anadolu Agency includes comment by Dr Ben Caldecott.
Investors are overlooking the long-term risks climate change poses to oil and gas infrastructure firms, which face tens of billion of dollars worth of stranded assets as the world transitions to greener energy, according to new analysis seen by AFP. Includes comment by Dr Ben Caldecott.
The idea for the analysis came from Dr Ben Caldecott, at the University of Oxford's Sustainable Finance Programme. He comments, in the Guardian article, that it is the first systematic use of emissions data to inform the debate about intergenerational responsibility for climate change and had produced some "uncomfortable numbers".
Dr Ben Caldecott comments in an article in the Guardian about Munich Re, world's largest reinsurance firm, who are warning that premium rises could become a social issue
27/02/19 | Dr Ben Caldecott provides oral evidence to the House of Commons Environmental Audit Committee
Dr Ben Caldecott provided oral evidence to the House of Commons Environmental Audit Committee on the 26th of February as part of an inquiry into UK Export Finance supporting overseas fossil fuels projects. Footage of the session can be watched on Parliament TV.
18/12/18 | COP24: UK debuts Powering Past Coal Calculator (paywall)
Oxford Sustainable Finance Programme launches new online tool designed to help more government's develop credible coal phase out strategies.
12/12/18 | How the finance industry can save the world
A news article by the World Economic Forum, which cites our research, explores the way that the finance industry can be redefined to have a more positive impact on the world.
08/11/18 | The future of sustainable finance in Europe | YouTube
Olivier Guersent, Directorate-General for Financial Stability, Financial Services and Capital Markets Union (DG FISMA) discusses the unprecedented reforms put forward by the EU to secure financial stability and improve the supervision of financial markets following the outbreak of the financial crisis.
24/10/18 | Applications are now open for the Sustainable Finance Foundation Course and the Climate-related Financial Risk Course
The Smith School for Enterprise and the Environment are now inviting applications for two courses in 2019.
20/10/18 | Southeast Asia Power Plants Seen Clashing With UN Climate Goals (paywall)
A new study from the SSEE's Sustainable Finance Programme estimates carbon emissions from fossil fuel power plants in Southeast Asia and finds that 84% are incompatible with the 1.5C climate target.
18/10/18 | Southeast Asian power plants fail to meet UN carbon targets designed to combat global warming
A new report by the SSEE Sustainable Finance Programme suggests that almost 84 per cent of Southeast Asia's planned and existing fossil fuel power plants are incompatible with future scenarios that avoid catastrophic damage from climate change.
In this new article for the World Economic Forum's Fourth Industrial Revolution for the Earth series, Dr Ben Caldecott explores the progress needed with big data in order to stand any chance of meeting climate goals.
06/10/18 | The Oxford Sustainable Finance Programme and E3G win the French Social Investment Forum and UN Principles for Responsible Investment prize
At a ceremony at Mirova's headquarters in Paris the Oxford Sustainable Finance Programme at the University of Oxford Smith School of Enterprise and the Environment and environmental think tank E3G won the FIR-PRI Award for the Best Pedagogical Innovation in Sustainable Finance.
The prize was won for the "2°C Pathways Wargame". The wargame, which took several years to develop, is used to explore the different pathways oil & gas companies can take under different scenarios to assess which business models are the most likely to be successful.
Currently up to 40 participants can individually or in teams represent specific oil & gas companies and play against each other via an online platform. They simulate decisions about strategy and investments to position companies within the industry over the next 30 years.
Ben Caldecott, founding Director of the Oxford Sustainable Finance Programme at the University of Oxford Smith School of Enterprise and the Environment said, "Oil majors are coming under increasing pressure from shareholders and civil society to develop and disclose business plans in line with the Paris Agreement. Our wargame helps companies, investors, governments, and civil society to scan, test, and then identify plausible strategies for oil & gas companies to be compatible with the energy transition underway."
"We can now systematically test oil & gas company business plans against every energy transition and climate scenario, including those developed by the companies themselves. Not only is the wargame great fun and has something for everyone - from the professional oil & gas analyst to the NGO campaigner with no experience of finance or the energy sector - it can generate very valuable insights for a range of stakeholders."
Shane Tomlinson, Director at E3G, said, "Wargaming provides a number of unique insights and tools with which to assess the impact of climate change on oil & gas company business models. Simulating decision-making under uncertainty reveals the behavioural and strategic considerations that oil & gas majors face which are not captured in perfect information models. In particular the wargame revealed significant path dependency to managing company debt levels, herd behaviour in trying to 'run for green' assets, and the potential destruction in shareholder value from multiple firms attempting to be the last one standing'. By better understanding these dynamics both markets and policymakers can make smarter decisions in the future to manage the impacts of climate risk."
A report detailing the wargame and the implications of its capabilities can be found in this report, Crude Awakening: Making Oil Major Business Models Climate-Compatible, published in March 2018.
07/09/18 | BoE finds banks unprepared for climate change risks (paywall)
Dr Ben Caldecott comments on the Bank of England's survey results which suggest that only ten percent of lenders take a long-term view of climate risks.
09/07/18 | One Planet: Sovereign Wealth Funds, climate change, and the ability to move markets (paywall)
In a news article for Business Green, Dr Ben Caldecott of the SSEE's Sustainable Finance Programme explains why President Macron's new Sovereign Wealth Fund announcement is such an important development for global climate action.
05/06/18 | Rating climate risks to credit worthiness
A news piece in Nature Climate Change examines how climate change risks could impact credit rating and in turn be used to incentivise climate risk reduction efforts by companies. In the article, Ben Caldecott highlights some of the complexities and existing limitations in collecting and disclosing the necessary data to account for climate risk.
In a news article on the BBC website, it is suggested that a rapid reduction in demand for fossil fuels could see global economic losses of $1-4 trillion by 2035, with reference to a report by the Sustainable Finance Programme.
04/06/18 | MPs call for mandatory climate risk reporting (paywall)
Following inquiry into green finance, Environmental Audit Committee concludes large companies and asset owners - such as pension funds - should be forced to report their exposure to climate change risks and opportunities.
Heavy criticism has been levelled at UK government energy policies for causing a rapid fall in clean energy investment. The SSEE are quoted in this BBC article by highlighting the need for low-cost capital for low-carbon infrastructure and technology.
A new series of papers by the Commonwealth Climate and Law Initiative (CCLI) - an initiative of the Smith School's Sustainable Finance Programme - urge Australian businesses to better understand climate change through a financial risk lens, or risk being left behind by their global peers.
25/04/18 | Steps beyond carbon footprinting
'Investors need to go much further than carbon footprinting their portfolios to measure environmental risk'says Ben Caldecott, in a talk given at the Fiduciary Investors Symposium at Oxford University.
23/04/18 | Risk to power generation sector is already real (paywall)
In response to an article in the Financial Times published last week quoting Bop Dudley, Chief Exectutive of BP, as saying 'the idea of stranded assets just doesn't hold', Alexander Pfeiffer explains how research shows that the risk has, in fact, already materialised in some areas of the economy.
31/03/18 | UK Green Finance Taskforce publishes recommendations on disclosure
The introduction of a comprehensive and world-leading UK climate-related and sustainability-related financial disclosure framework is a key priority. This report entitled, Establishing the World's Best Framework for Climate-Related and Sustainability-related Financial Disclosures, was produced jointly by the UK Green Finance Taskforce and the City of London Green Finance Initiative Working Group on Data, Disclosure and Risk. It sets out how and why the UK can introduce a new climate-related and sustainability-related financial disclosure framework. The GFI Working Group is chaired by Ben Caldecott, the founding Director of the Oxford Sustainable Finance Programme and a Member of the UK Green Finance Taskforce.
27/03/18 | "Bail out or fade out? Oil majors face tough choice on climate, researchers warn" (paywall)
New research by the Smith School and think tank E3G uses wargame simulations to predict how major oil companies could secure a commercially viable future under 2 degrees of climate change. Read full report in Business Green.
05/03/18 | Top universities sign up to Global Research Alliance for Sustainable Finance and Investment (paywall)
Eighteen Universities, including Oxford, Cambridge and Yale have signed up to a new Global Research Alliance for Sustainable Finance and Investment. The Alliance is designed to help support and accelerate the transition towards greener finance models and to raise the profile of academic research in response to growing interest from policy makers and business.
02/03/18 | London Stock Exchange explore recommendations from Green Finance Taskforce at celebration event in London
Representing Oxford University, Dr Ben Caldecott spoke at the London Stock Exchange event on the 6 February to explore the relevance of sustainable finance in the UK. The event was attended by The Rt Hon Claire Berry MP who established the Green Finance Taskforce to advise the government on reforms to scale up green financial flows in the UK and ensure Britain remains a global leader in this market.
06/02/18 | The SSEE Sustainable Finance Programme provide evidence to UK Government on green finance and climate risk reporting
Dr Ben Caldecott recently gave evidence to the Environmental Audit Committee Green Finance Inquiry. With London being the current green financial centre of the world, the UK Government has a unique opportunity for aligning finance and sustainability as a means of tackling global environmental challenges. In the written evidence, Dr Ben Caldecott provides high-level perspectives on the following issues: 1) how policymakers should evaluate different green finance proposals, 2) the importance (and limitations) of disclosure 3) why we need to focus on asset-level data, and 4) the case for a UK Green Fintech Centre, particularly to realise the potential of innovations in data capture and date processing.
- A green 'Belt and Road Initiative' is a global imperative | A new international collaboration by the SSEE Sustainable Finance Programme will improve understanding of financial and environmental risks posed by Belt and Road projects. Find out more in the China Dialogue blog post by Programme Director Ben Caldecott.
- UK funds rank worst for climate change impact (paywall) | Financial Times - British funds rank worst in Europe for climate change impact, in a sign that UK asset managers are lagging behind their peers when assessing the investment risks of global warming. Article features comment from Dr Ben Caldecott.
- Dr Ben Caldecott joins the Government's Green Finance Taskforce | HM Treasury and the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy will co-host a Taskforce to accelerate the growth of green finance, and help deliver the investment required to meet the UK's carbon reduction targets. Dr Ben Caldecott joins other industry experts, including Nikhil Rathi, CEO, London Stock Exchange and Michael Sheren, Senior Adviser, Bank of England.
- The intergenerational 'wars' at super rich families over sustainable investments | Responsible Investor
- Coal expansion plans up in smoke as Europe realises mistake | Euractiv
- 유럽 석탄발전 사업 77% 취소 잘못된 예측으로 비용 부담 커 [European Coal Power Generation Project 77% Cancellation Incorrect Forecast Cuts Costs] | Hani [In Korean]
- "유럽, 잘못된 석탄 수요 예측으로 손해" - 옥스포드대 연구 결과: 영국·네덜란드·독일 등 77%건설 취소, 가치하락 ["Europe, damages by wrong coal demand forecast" - University of Oxford Results: 77% construction canceled, depreciation of UK, Netherlands, Germany] | Naeil [In Korean]
- 유럽 석탄발전 건설계획 77% 취소, 韓 같은 실수 않을 것 [European coal-fired power plant construction plan canceled 77%] | e2 News [In Korean]
- 옥스포드대 벤 칼데콧 박사, 문재인 정부의 '탈석탄' 정책 긍정 평가 [Oxford vs. Ben Caldecott, Moon Jae-in Government Positively Assesses 'De-coal' Policy] | Bridge Economy Newspaper [In Korean]
- "유럽 석탄화력 과신, 재앙으로 이어져"...옥스포드 연구팀, 유럽 시행착오 참고해야 옥스포드대 스미스스쿨 “유럽 전력사들의 석탄에 대한 확신, 역효과 냈다” ["European Coal-fired power leads to disaster," … Oxford research team, Europe trial and error note Oxford-Smith School "Confidence in coal of European power companies, counterproductive"] | Green Economy [In Korean]
- Report: European utilities undermined by misjudged coal plant plans (paywall) | Business Green
- Aviva Investors demands greater climate change disclosure (paywall) | Financial Times
- Mayor's Divestment Pledge '100 percent' Does Not Commit London to Divest from Fossil Fuels | DeSmog UK
- Banks And Insurers Support Task Force Recommendations On Climate-Related Financial Disclosure | Forbes
- Can the AIIB support Asia's energy revolution? | Eco-Business
- Bank of England confirms climate risk review for banking sector planned (paywall) | Business Green
- AIIB may consider lower-carbon infrastructure projects, raising concerns | Global Times
- Bank of England to probe banks' exposure to climate change (paywall)| Financial Times
- Investors move to limit impact of climate change on their portfolios | Pensions & Investments
- Gigantisk investeringsselskap: - Denne bransjen er død | E24
- Connecting Climate Resilience to the Bottom Line | Stanford Social Innovation Review
- The fossil fuel divestment trend has a dangerous reality | City A.M.
- UK sees first day of power without old king coal | The Times
- UK generates a day's electricity without coal (paywall) | Financial Times
- RWE and CEZ worst prepared for move to low-carbon economy (paywall) | Financial Times
- Timelapse video showing stranded assets and cumulative emissions from China's current and planned coal plants | YouTube
A new timelapse video showing stranded assets and cumulative emissions from China's current and planned coal plants from the Sustainable Finance Group at the Smith School of Enterprise and the Environment, University of Oxford.
- Action needed to avoid climate change leaving insurance industry with 'stranded assets' | The Actuary
- Lloyd's warns industry of stranded assets on global scale | Insurance Business Magazine
- Beware stranded assets, insurance industry warned | CIR Magazine
- Stranded assets warning from Lloyd's | Reactions
- How the world can finance the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). | Business Commission
- Church of England launches climate change ranking (paywall) | Financial Times
- US energy giant GE backs states going own way on renewables | The Sydney Morning Herald
- Donald Trump Wants to Revive the Coal Industry While Canada Plans to Phase it Out | Newsweek
- Canada vows to phase out dirty coal power by 2030 (paywall) | BusinessGreen
- Canada Phases Out Coal As Donald Trump Aims To Revive It In U.S. | Huffington Post
- IPE Scholarship Fund makes double award to support retirement research | Investment & Pensions Europe
- Oxford Smith School becomes an Knowledge Partner to new OECD Centre on Green Finance and Investment
- Elizabeth Harnett, currently a Research Assistant and DPhil student at the Sustainable Finance Group at the Oxford Smith School has been awarded the 2016 Finance and Sustainability European Research Award for Best Master's Thesis
- Could asset level data offer a better way to assess climate risk than disclosure? (paywall) | BusinessGreen
- Asset Level Data Can Better The Assessment Of Environmental Risk Report Says | Blue & Green Tomorrow
- 'Stranded asset' focus on environmental risks in region | Bahamas Local
- Existing coal, oil and gas fields will blow carbon budget | Climate Home
- BBC interview with Ben Caldecott | BBC Business Live
Ben Caldecott, Director of the Sustainable Finance Group at the Oxford Smith School, is interviewed live on BBC Business Live on climate change, business, and the Paris Agreement.
- China Seen Investing Too Much in Power Plants That Burn Coal (paywall) | Bloomberg Markets
- Global coal power plans fall in 2016, led by China, India: study | Reuters
- Spotlight: Experts laud China-U.S. leadership in climate action, call for EU action | New China
- Spotlight: Experts laud China-U.S. leadership in climate action, call for EU action | CCTV News
- G20 reaffirms climate commitments - but dodges deadlines | Guardian Environment Network
- G20 vows to scale up green financing in pursuit of 'cleaner energy future and sustainable energy security' (paywall) | Business Green
- Analysis: Is agriculture/food production the next stranded asset? Investors start to grapple with the 'externalities' of food production | Responsible Investor
- 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.
- Pensions See Increased Risk in Fossil Fuel Stocks | VOA News
- Crude Ambitions | Renewable Energy Focus
- Japan doubles down on coal power as trading houses curb investment | Reuters
- Danish pension scheme threatens to blacklist coal companies (paywall) | Financial Times
- Mounting Risks Of Impairments Globally In Coal Investments | ValueWalk
- The G7 Summit: A Paris Agreement Litmus Test | Huffington Post
- Axa stubs out €1.8bn tobacco investments (paywall) | The Telegraph
- Study: Most fossil fuels unburnable without carbon capture | Carbon Brief
- Scrap group CO2 data for physical asset info, think-tank tells Financial Stability Board: Two Degrees and Oxford Smith School report suggests new reporting model | Responsible Investor
- ＣＯ２貯留の大規模実証試験、４月に開始－北海道苫小牧沖で | Bloomberg
- Japan's coal-fired plants 'to cause thousands of early deaths' | The Guardian
Greenpeace slams 'insane' plan for dozens of power plants, with huge implications for air quality and climate change
- La politique énergétique du Japon l'expose à une dépréciation de 80 milliards $ d'actifs | Ecofin
- Coal Spending in Japan Risks Stranding $57 Billion of Assets (paywall) | BloombergBusiness
Utilities and other companies in Japan pushing ahead with new investments in coal-power plants risk creating 6.22 trillion yen ($57 billion) of stranded assets amid shifts in energy policy and the economics of power generation, according to a study by Oxford University's Smith School of Enterprise and the Environment.
- Study: Japanese coal expansion plans facing $56bn stranded asset risk (paywall) | BusinessGreen
Planned fleet of new coal-fired power stations would massively exceed current capacity requirements, according to University of Oxford research
- Japan warned of flaw in coal-fired power plant project (paywall) | Financial Times
Japan's plans for a massive expansion of coal-fired electricity generation are based on flawed projections and risk saddling the country with more than $60bn of "stranded" assets, a new report has warned.
- Sovereign funds ignore climate risk (paywall) | Attracta Mooney | Financial Times
- Water-Related Risks Strand $Billions in Energy, Mining, Power Projects | circle of blue
- Dodgy units aside, we could make money from ETS credits | Carbon News
- Warning for investors, not just environmentalists, in fossil fuel spending | CBC (Canada), Don Pittis
- Why fossil fuel power plants will be left stranded (paywall) | Financial Times
- Climate change will wipe $2.5tn off global financial assets | The Guardian
- New study warns on probability that '2°C capital stock' will be reached in 2017
- Gas Strategies Interview: Ben Caldecott, stranded assets programme director, University of Oxford (subscription required) | Gas Strategies
Ben Caldecott, Director of the Sustainable Finance Group at the Oxford Smith School gave an interview with Gas Strategies on the future of the energy landscape. Download the full interview (pdf, 8 pages, 372 KB).
- Japan Plans Biggest Test of Carbon Capture North of Quake Site (paywall) | BloombergBusiness
- New CCS tech is not enough for breakthrough | Natural Gas Daily
- Climate risks could wreak havoc on financial markets, EU watchdog warns | The Guardian
- Where Does The Carbon Come From? | Forbes
- Divestment Campaigns: Bottom-up Geo-Economics | European Council on Foreign Relations
Atif Ansar and Ben Caldecott contributed an essay on fossil fuel divestment to a collection of essays entitled "Connectivity Wars: Why migration, finance and trade are the geo-economic battlegrounds of the future", edited by Mark Leonard and published by the European Council on Foreign Relations.
- Australian coalmines are one of riskiest investments in the world - report | The Guardian
Australian thermal coalmines are some of the riskiest in the world for investors because of their exposure to environmental dangers, according to a report from Oxford University.
- Australia's coal-fired power stations at risk of 'death-spiral' - report | The Sydney Morning Herald
- Australian coal 'high risk' on exports, green tape | Financial Review
- Coal mines ranked 'high risk': report | SBS
- Australia, Germany, Japan at high environmental risk due to reliance on coal - report | Mining.com
- Coal mines ranked 'high risk': report | Sky News
- Coal-burning countries at risk from 'utility death spiral' amid another bleak week for the fossil fuel (paywall) | Business Green
- Report on environmental risks in the value chain of thermal coal | Norges Bank
- Research backed by Norges Bank reveals most environmentally-risky coal firms (paywall) | Environmental Finance
- 能源投资：环境风险与机遇都在哪? | Sohu.com
- 能源投资环境风险在哪？机遇在哪 | News.315.com.cn
- Bloomberg unveils crack team to assess global climate risk | Climate Home
Ben Caldecott, environmental economics expert at Oxford University, listed some "significant failures" of the current system: only some companies disclose data each year; it is often inaccurate, irrelevant or out of date; and much time is spent form-filling and verifying data under a range of systems. "The FSB has brought together an impressive collection of key people and organisations able to identify and push forward much-needed reforms," he said.
- Bloomberg appoints top executives to climate risk task force (paywall) | Business Green
The appointments were welcomed by key figures in the green finance sector. Ben Caldecott, programme director at the Smith School of Enterprise and the Environment at the University of Oxford, said there were "significant failures" in the way that companies currently report climate risk. "The current reporting paradigm – where only some companies annually disclose data; where reported data might not be relevant for assessing the environmental performance of assets; where reported data may be inaccurate and out of date; where companies have to spend a significant amount of time filling in forms for different reporting systems; and where third parties spend significant effort trying to assure reported data – could be very significantly improved," he said in a statement.
- FSB reveals big hitters behind new climate change task force (paywall) | Environmental Finance
Ben Caldecott, programme director at the Smith School of Enterprise and the Environment, University of Oxford, added: "The task force has a unique opportunity to help correct some significant failures in the way that companies currently disclose data on environmental performance. The current reporting paradigm - where only some companies annually disclose data; where reported data might not be relevant for assessing the environmental performance of assets; where reported data may be inaccurate and out of date; where companies have to spend a significant amount of time filling in forms for different reporting systems; and where third parties spend significant effort trying to assure reported data - could be very significantly improved."
- Analysts: Chinese coal consumption drops five per cent (paywall) | Business Green
Slowdown in economic growth rates couple with massive clean energy investment to ensure continued fall in Chinese coal market
- China's Coal Imports: Slowest Rate of Growth Since 1998 | blue&green tomorrow
China reports electricity demand grew just 0.5% year on year (yoy) to 5,550TWh in calendar 2015, the slowest rate of growth since 1998. With a significant increase in non-thermal electricity generation (nuclear, hydro, wind and solar), coal fired power generation declined by an estimated 4% yoy and coal consumption is estimated to have fallen 5% yoy, building on the decline reported in 2014.
- Carbon capture at risk of running out of steam (paywall) | Financial Times
- Protected Areas urged to better identify economic value they bring (paywall) | businessGreen
- COP21 Paris talks: Carney weighs in on fossil fuel pollution (paywall) | Financial Times
- Ben Caldecott, Founder and Director of the Oxford Stranded Assets Programme speaks about UK solar subsidy cuts | BBC News at 10. See from 21:40 mins in.
- Renewable Energy sells to BlackRock after government squeeze (paywall) | Financial Times
- EF BRIEFS: Goldman Sachs, Moody's, Oxford SSEE (paywall) | Environmental Finance
- Prince Charles in plan to help investors take polluting firms to court | The Guardian
Commonwealth Climate and Law Initiative will lay out risks to financial returns amid increasing government curbs on emissions.
- Commonwealth Company Directors in Spotlight Over Climate Change Liabilities | blue&green tomorrow
Legal liability risks from climate change for British, Australian, Canadian and South African company directors and pension fund trustees will be assessed under a new Commonwealth Climate & Law Initiative (CCLI) launched during the Commonwealth Heads of Government meeting in Malta today today.
- Prince Charles backs far-reaching climate change legal liability risks project (paywall) | Responsible Investor
New 'Commonwealth Climate & Law Initiative' unveiled.
- Financial Stability Board proposes global climate risk task force (paywall) | Business Green
- 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?
- 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. See Bank of England Report.
- Financial gatekeepers are blocking green investment - study | RTCC
Investment consultants are holding back finance into low carbon sectors by failing to consider the long term, according to a study from Oxford University.
- 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.
- A $23 Billion Stock Drop Shows India's Rising Water Risks (paywall) | 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 (paywall) | Business Green
University of Oxford study details the top 40 companies facing divestment from Norwegian pension fund following crucial vote.
- Divestment Won't Hurt Big Oil, and That's OK | New Republic
- Oxford University rules out investing in coal and tar sands | The Guardian
The University of Oxford has ruled out future investments in coal and tar sands from its multi-billion pound endowment, but said it would not divest from all fossil fuels as demanded by thousands of students, academics and alumni.
- Oxford University Limits Its Fossil Fuel Investments | Bloomberg
Oxford University said it would curb some of the most polluting fossil fuel-related investments in its 1.7 billion-pound ($2.7 billion) endowment, making it the most prominent institution to join the growing campaign for divestment from the industry.
- Climate change and the rise of the 'advocacy investor' | GreenBiz
In the absence of large-scale government regulation to force the issue of sustainability with corporate executives, some investors have taken it upon themselves to try to force companies to change. One way these shareholders are advocating change is through filing shareholder proposals or resolutions.
- Will carbon cause the next financial crisis? | GreenBiz
- Sunday, Nepal, Church Bells, Fossil Fuels | BBC Radio 4
The Methodists and the Church of England have announced their respective plans to cut investment in fossil fuel companies. Stephen Beer from the Central Finance Board of the Methodist Church and Ben Caldecott of the Smith School of Enterprise and the Environment discuss (from 25.30).
- Church of England wields its influence in fight against climate change | The Guardian
Decision by C of E to sell off investments in tar sands and coal welcomed by campaigners who say religious groups can have a far-reaching impact.
- Oslo has joined the dozens of cities pledging to divest their holdings in the fossil fuel industry | CityMetric
- Investors' climate change 'gamble' exposed (paywall) | Financial Times
Nearly half of the world's biggest investors have been accused of failing to protect their portfolios from climate change and of "gambling" on companies heavily exposed to environmental risks.
- Materiality matters: why don't companies have to disclose sustainability risk? | GreenBiz
Given that disclosure of financial risk always has been a difficult mandate for publicly-traded companies, requesting the voluntarily disclosure of sustainability risks may seem like a nearly Sisyphean task.
- Nearly half of top pension funds gambling on climate change | The Guardian
Index produced by thinktank shows just under 50% of investors take no measures to protect assets from expected climate-related market shifts.
- HSBC outlines four ways to divest from fossil fuels | The Carbon Brief
Carbon Brief looks at which investors are most at risk from the possible devaluation of the fossil fuel industry, and the different strategies that they can take to protect themselves.
- Fossil fuel campaigners play charades | The Financial Times
Why should funds listen to a protest that is not taken seriously by the activists themselves?
- Is BP's shareholder resolution really an "activist victory"? | The Carbon Brief
Climate campaigners celebrated on Thursday as 98% of shareholders backed a resolution forcing BP to come clean about the impact that climate change will have on its operations. BP is a company which emits about the same volume of greenhouse gases as Norway. It has advocated for a global economy-wide price on carbon, yet also scaled back its investments in renewable energy. Thanks to the resolution, it will have to be more transparent in the future about how it plans to move towards a greener business model.
- Shell's BG Bid Underscores Climate Strategy | EI New Energy
While the primary motivation for Royal Dutch Shell's bid for BG last week may have been short-term concerns, such as shoring up reserve replacement levels and cash flow, it also underscores one of the main pillars of the Anglo-Dutch supermajor's long-term climate change strategy - to supply more natural gas as a cleaner-burning alternative to coal.
- Studietur førte til global klimabevægelse | Information
- Fossil fuel-free funds outperformed conventional ones, analysis shows | The Guardian
Investors who dumped holdings in coal, oil and gas earned an average return of 1.2% more a year over last five years, data from the world's leading stock market index reveals.
- Australian Greens: PM 'caught out' over polluting plants | Anadolu Agency
Oxford report finds Australia's subcritical power stations have highest carbon emissions of any major country.
- Investment consultants told to 'man up' on stranded assets (paywall) | The Financial Times
Companies in the mining, oil and gas sectors are ignoring a big risk to their valuations and predictions of future revenue.
- As more countries turn against coal, producers face prolonged weakness in prices (paywall) | The Economist
Cheap energy matters most to poor people, and the coal industry's hopes have rested on emerging economies burning the black stuff to fuel their modernisation. But growing energy efficiency, rising pollution worries and stiffer competition from other fuels mean that in most countries the tide is turning against coal.
- Australia's most polluting power stations pose risks to economy and environment, Oxford research says | ABC News
New research from Oxford University has named Australia's most polluting coal-fired power stations and warns of the risks they pose to the economy and the environment.
- A burning issue for energy investors | ABC News
As the Australian government and opposition continue to debate the RET. Oxford University researchers have sounded a warning to investors in fossil fuel fired power. They say Australia's most polluting coal-fired power stations, owned by providers like AGL Energy, Origin Energy and Delta Electricity are at risk of losing their value.
- Australia's subcritical coal-fired power stations proving risky for investors | The Sunday Morning Herald
Australia's most polluting coal-fired power stations, owned by providers like AGL Energy, Origin Energy and Delta Electricity, are on the way to becoming devalued assets due to their carbon intensity, a University of Oxford report says.
- A University of Oxford study has named Australia's most polluting coal-fired power stations | Business Insider Australia
Australia's most polluting and inefficient coal-fired power stations, and their owners, have been named in a study by researchers at the University of Oxford.
- India Third Least Efficient Coal-Fired Power Generating Nation: Report | First Post
According to a research by Stranded Assets Programme at the University of Oxford, 39 per cent of total global "sub-critical" capacity is located in China, 21 per cent in the US, and 9 per cent in India.
- 90% of Australian coal plants rated 'at risk' in stranded asset report. | Renew Economy
As debate reignites over the economic and environmental viability of developing new mega-coal mine projects in Queensland's Galilee Basin, a new report out of Oxford University has identified the world's coal-fired power stations most at risk of becoming 'stranded assets'. On many levels, the result is not good news for Australia.
- One-fifth of world's worst coal plants are in U.S | RTCC
Many of China's dirtiest coal plants could be forced to close early as regulations to curb greenhouse gases, air pollution and water stress tighten.
- US and Chinese companies dominate list of most-polluting coal plants | The Guardian
The 100 global power companies most at risk from growing pressure to shut highly polluting coal plants have been revealed in a new report from Oxford University.
- Chinese, U.S. power firms top inefficient coal plants list | Reuters
Chinese and U.S. firms generate the most electricity from inefficient coal-fired power plants that pump out more greenhouse gases and use more water than newer power stations, a study said on Friday.
- One-fifth of world's worst coal plants are in U.S | CBS News
Article discussing the latest Stranded Assets Programme report on Subcritical Coal.
- Oxford University considers stopping investment in profitable fossil fuel companies | BBC World Business Report
Interview with Ben Caldecott, Director of the Stranded Assets Programme at the Smith School.
- Oxford Weighs Scrapping Fossil Fuels From Endowment (paywall) | Bloomberg
Oxford University will consider Monday whether to become the most prominent academic institution to join a growing movement in favor of divesting from publicly traded fossil fuel companies.
- Climate fight won't wait for Paris | The Guardian
In the third piece in the Guardian's major series on climate change, Bill McKibben describes how relentless climate movements have shifted the advantage towards fossil fuel resistance for the first time in 25 years. But he argues triumph is not certain – we must not rest till the industry is forced to keep the carbon in the ground.
- 10 myths about fossil fuel divestment put to the sword | The Guardian
As environmentalist Bill McKibben lays out the case for divesting from coal, oil and gas companies, The Guardian examinse some of the popular myths around fossil fuel divestment.
- Economics: Support low-carbon investment (Podcast) | Nature
Oxford economist Ben Caldecott discusses whether universities should still be investing in fossil fuels.
- Bank of England warns of huge financial risk from fossil fuel investments | The Guardian
Global action on climate change could cause insurers' investments in fossil fuels to take a huge hit, says bank's prudential regulation authority.
- 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.
- 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? (paywall) | 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.
- Norwegian Pension Fund Global report
Smith School's Working Paper on financial dynamics of environment, pdf referenced in Norway's Pension Fund Global report.
- Smith School's Stranded Assets Programme research mentioned on BBC's Newsnight.
SAP research on divestment mentioned by Bill McKibben on 3rd November edition of Newsnight.
- Five things to know about fossil-fuel divestment | China Dialogue
Campaigns to persuade institutions to withdraw investments from the fossil-fuel sector are gaining momentum. So what do you need to know?
- Fossil Fuel Divestment: A brief History | The Guardian
As Glasgow becomes the first university in Europe to divest from fossil fuels, The Guardian takes a look at the key moments in the movement's history.
- Glasgow becomes first university in Europe to divest from fossil fuels | The Guardian
University court votes to divest £18m from fossil fuel industry in what campaigners call 'dramatic beachhead'.
- Rockefeller family abandons oil legacy with fossil fuel divestment | Campden FB
The Rockefellers, a family synonymous with oil and wealth in the US, are among a coalition of ultra wealthy investors that have today announced they will divest $50 billion in fossil fuel assets.
- Toil for Oil Spells Danger for Majors, pdf | Long Finance
New report by SAP's Visiting Research Associate Mark Lewis and Kepler Cheuvreux explores implications for oil majors and how unsustainable dynamics might require them to become 'energy majors'.
- Climate activism's new frontier is targeting fossil fuel investors | Sydney Morning Herald
- Scottish independence could see exit of Green Investment Bank | Green Wise Business
The prospect of an independent Scotland is calling into question the future of the UK Green Investment Bank and how Scottish green infrastructure projects will be funded going forward.
- Don't get left holding the bag (or the oil can) | CampdenFB
Piece featuring SSEE's Stranded Assets Programme with comments by Ben Goldsmith and others.
- Rise of renewables adds to need for gas power (paywall) | Financial Times
Piece featuring SSEE's work on rise of renewables in EU and capacity mechanisms.
- Fossil fuel divestment should be taken seriously | Boston Business Journal
Opinion piece on the fossil fuel divestment movement in Massachusetts.
- Pension funds urged to publish climate risks (paywall) | 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 (paywall) | 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- Monash University correspondence reveals secretive attitude over fossil fuel investments | ABC News
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.
- 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 (paywall) | 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.
- 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? (paywall) | Business Green
Survey finds low levels of awareness of "carbon bubble", despite widespread concern about investment risk.
- 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" (paywall) | 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 (paywall) | 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.
- 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 (paywall) | 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 world's 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 - Mining.com
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 (paywall) | 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 (paywall) | Financial Times.
- 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.
- Al Gore tells investors to divest from fossil-fuel assets (paywall) | Financial Times
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 | CNBC.com
- 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 (paywall) | Business Green
- Fossil fuel divestment campaigns can help 'stigmatise' industry | Blue & Green Tomorrow
- Energy: The toll on coal (paywall)| Financial Times
- 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 (paywall) | 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
- Staying afloat when assets get stranded (paywall) | Financial Times
- Putting Money Where Hungry Mouths Need It | The Times
'Sustainable Agriculture & Food Security' special report distributed in The Times. Article, 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
- 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 (paywall) | 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.
- Global Financial System at Risk From High-Carbon Assets | Bloomberg
- Focus falls on asset owners' climate risk (paywall) | Financial Times
- Investors urged to track ESG risks (paywall) | Financial Times.
- Carbon bubble: Bank of England's opportunity to tackle market failure | The Guardian