Yesterday the Carbon Tracker Initiative (‘CTI’) launched its second report, with a well-attended event at Bloomsberg’s offices. “Unburnable Carbon 2013: Wasted capital and stranded assets” picks up where CTI’s original 2011 report left off. The premise is simple: we can’t burn all of the fossil fuel assets on the balance sheets of fossil fuel companies, and not risk catastrophic climate change.
Back in 2009, along with tens of thousands of others, I joined the Climate March as it snaked through Central London demonstrating support for a strong global deal on climate change at the Copenhagen Summit. What was surprising to me on that march was the level of antipathy directed towards the European Union’s Emission Trading Scheme (ETS). Protestors from many of the UK’s leading environmental groups were decked out in top hats and tails parodying Conservative politicians and ‘fat cat’ bankers who they believed were exploiting the markets to make money while doing little to reduce carbon emissions. Ironically, on the 16th April this year the European Parliament voted against a proposal to shore-up the European carbon markets and the blame was being squarely levelled at the bowler-hatted Tories that the protestors were lampooning.