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The 10 finance firms that own half of all future carbon emissions

The "Carbon Underground 200", compiled and maintained by FFI Solutions (formerly Fossil Free Indexes), identifies the top 100 coal and the top 100 oil and gas publicly-traded reserve holders globally, ranked by the potential carbon emissions content of their reported reserves. Combined, these energy companies own 98 per cent of known fossil fuel reserves, which would emit 674 gigatons of carbon if burned. As a reference, equivalent to 20 years of emissions. See our post from last week when IEA reported expecting the CO2 emissions to reach 33.8 billion tonnes this year of 2022.

In a thesis presented at Canada’s University of Waterloo, researchers analysed the "Carbon Underground 200" database to find the most relevant investors behind these potential carbon emissions reserves.

And found that 10 shareholders own 49.5% of it.

Here is part of the thesis abstract: "Economies around the world face a stark choice – to bolster fossil fuel production and face climate catastrophe or to keep fossil fuels in the ground and face trillions in potential asset stranding. Capital markets, as influential stakeholders, have a central role to play in sustainability transitions due to their inordinate influence on the governance of the fossil fuel extraction industry. Using network analysis, this dissertation links fossil fuel firms to equity owners by distinguishing ownership characteristics of top shareholders and establishing a ranked list of the most prevalent shareholders based on emissions potential and network centrality."

After an Introduction - with interesting topics such as "Earth – Our Home", "Water – Fossil Fuels as Agents of Cultural Change", "Air – Capital Markets as Contextual Systems" and "Fire – The Spirit of Resistance" these are the main chapters of the report:

  • Mapping 70 Years of Advancements in Management Research of Sustainability

  • Investment Strategies for Climate Action: A Bibliometric Analysis

  • A Voice for Change ? A Network Analysis of Ownership and Control in Canada's Fossil Fuel Industry

  • Ten Financial Actors Can Accelerate a Transition Away from Fossil Fuels

Report also brings realy great - and innovative - findings in the chapters "Evolution of Management discourse", "Sustainability versus Conventional Management Language", "The Future of Management Theory and Grand Challenges" and "Divestment versus Engagement". Do not miss their contents !

Click to download this research (in English) by Truzaar Dordi titled "Investing for Climate Action: The Role of Capital Markets in Enabling a Low-Carbon Transition" #SomethingDifferent


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“Nothing in life is to be feared, it is only to be understood. Now is the time to understand more, so that we may fear less.”

“I am among those who think that science has great beauty”

Madame Marie Curie (1867 - 1934) Chemist & physicist. French, born Polish.

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