Tuesday Oct. 4
Stranded Fossil-Fuel Assets Translate to Major Losses for Investors in Advanced Economics
12:30 to 1:30 p.m.
Locations: Live Stream Online (Zoom and YouTube)

Locations: Stream via Zoom or YouTube

Speaker Biography

Gregor Semieniuk is an Assistant Research Professor at the Political Economy Research Institute and the Department of Economics at the University of Massachusetts Amherst. His research focuses on the energy and resource requirements of global economic growth and on the political economy of rapid, policy-induced structural change that is required for the transition to a low-carbon economy. Semieniuk has published on these topics including in Nature Climate Change and Nature Energy, consulted for the United Nations Environment Program, the European Commission and the UK government, and won grants to study policies inducing investments into reneawble energy supply as well as the risks for financial investors from a fast transition to a low-carbon economy. Semieniuk holds a Ph.D. in Economics from the New School for Social Research.

Abstract

The distribution of ownership of transition risk associated with stranded fossil-fuel assets remains poorly understood. We calculate that global stranded assets as present value of future lost profits in the upstream oil and gas sector exceed US$1 trillion under plausible changes in expectations about the effects of climate policy. We trace the equity risk ownership from 43,439 oil and gas production assets through a global equity network of 1.8 million companies to their ultimate owners. Most of the market risk falls on private investors, overwhelmingly in OECD countries, including substantial exposure through pension funds and financial markets. The ownership distribution reveals an international net transfer of more than 15% of global stranded asset risk to OECD-based investors. Rich country stakeholders therefore have a major stake in how the transition in oil and gas production is managed, as ongoing supporters of the fossil-fuel economy and potentially exposed owners of stranded assets.

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