May, 2014 Toggle

Tale of Two Fossils: Why Separate Coal from Oil and Gas

The recent introduction of The Carbon Underground 200 attracted a lot of attention and raised a couple questions. Why 200? And why two lists? Both came up several times. As for the number of companies, it seems that having ten fingers and ten toes creates an unconscious human bias for ten and its multiples. Separating coal from oil and gas, though, was a conscious decision. The underlying basis for the Carbon Underground 200 is fossil fuel...

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The Coal Conundrum 101

To state the obvious, no one wants to sit in the dark. As the demand for energy grows, the supply of energy must also grow. And the demand for energy is growing rapidly, particularly in emerging markets. Coal remains one of the most readily available and scalable energy sources. All along the supply chain, coal is generally inexpensive compared to alternative energy sources and coal fired power plants can be constructed in a relatively...

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Is Passing a Tipping Point Avoidable?

The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC)'s recent AR5 Summary for Policymakers, released March 30th, 2014 included the urgent but obvious observation that "increasing magnitudes of global warming increase the likelihood of severe, pervasive, and irrevocable impacts". Despite the scrutiny on climate systems, dangerous uncertainties still abound. The report states with medium confidence and growing menace that "the precise levels of...

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In the News: The Carbon Underground Identifies Most Polluting Companies for Divestment Campaign

  Pointing to investor concerns about the sustainability of the companies they invest in, Charlotte Malone writes in Blue & Green Tomorrow on the impact of The Carbon Underground to the divestment campaign. See: Index Identifies Most Polluting Companies for Divestment Campaign   Blair Palese, CEO of 350.org Australia, said, “Moral arguments aside, investors a becoming increasingly aware of the financial risks...

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In the News: Why the UN Climate Negotiations Remain Critical

  Governments and High Net Worth individuals own a majority of global assets in general, and governments also own a majority of coal and oil assets in the ground.  Therefore the Climate Negotiation process of the UN remains critical. Citing the release of "The Carbon Underground" as a key new development to watch, Cary Krosinsky writes in About.com Sustainable Investing  on why the UN remains mission critical to the climate change...

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The Allocated Carbon Budget

Sharp readers of "The Carbon Underground" noticed that global proven reserves and the Carbon Underground 200 both exceeded the carbon budget by a factor of nearly four and a half. Coincidence or typo? Actually, neither. The allocated or adjusted carbon budget of 123 GtCO2 for The Carbon Underground 200 represents the burnable portion of reserves likely to keep global warming under two degrees centigrade. The calculations used to reach 123...

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In Gratitude

We are thrilled with the response to "The Carbon Underground," our research report on the top 200 listed coal, oil and gas companies by estimated carbon reserves. The preparation and launch of the report was a result of the efforts of everyone on our staff, as well as of a number of generous and talented individuals and organizations. We are grateful to everyone who contributed time and effort in order to ensure that our work and our launch were...

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