Unburnable Carbon 2013: Wasted Capital and Stranded Assets

James Leaton and Others

Research Organisation
Carbon Tracker in collaboration with Grantham Research Institute, LSE

Report Date
April 1, 2013

Document summary

For this second edition, Carbon Tracker partnered with the Grantham Research Institute at LSE to conduct a new analysis to stress-test the carbon budgets. In 2011, Carbon tracker had found that only 20% of total fossil fuel reserves could be burnt to 2050, leaving the prospects of assets becoming stranded. The stress-test reveals that the available budget is 900 GtCO2, for an 80% probability to stay below 2°C, and 1,075 GtCO2 for a 50% probability confirming that the majority of fossil fuels remains are unburnable. Under this model, greater reductions of non-CO2 emissions (i.e. other GHG emissions) is assumed. Further, the report shows how carbon capture and storage would extends the budged to 2050 only by 125 GtCO2, assuming a level of investment that is not yet secured. Finally, the report demonstrates how London and New York stock markets are getting more carbon intensive and highlights the risks for investors as 60 to 80% of coal, oil and gas reserves of listed companies are unburnable.