Slide 1

Carbon - Burn it all?!

"What happens if we burn it all?" (i.e. burn all known reserves on balance sheets) is the question Michael Mainelli and Jan-Peter Onstwedder asked the BP and London Accord teams back in 2006, based on the concern that finance was not valuing carbon properly. Z/Yen’s Dr Kevin Parker (ex BP chemist) pulled together the spreadsheet “Global Warming”, for the total ppm results of burning current known reserves. Jan-Peter Onstwedder had a look from the point of view of the head of risk at BP. BP’s research team did their own digging and both sides effectively came up with the same numbers.

Figure 1 - CO2 levels caused by burning known fossil fuel reserves

With fracking and shale gas the numbers get higher, about 1600 ppm.

The London Accord shared this with Mark Campanale back then who, working with Nick Robins of HSBC, took this forward to create Carbon Tracker with James Leaton. Their first report “Unburnable Carbon: Are the World’s Financial Markets Carrying A Carbon Bubble?” was highly commended for the Farsight Award 2011/12.

More information

Related London Accord reports