Fossil Free Indexes Research

October 2017: The Carbon Underground 2017

This year’s report surveys the landscape for energy investors who are focused on the transition from fossil fuels to clean energy. Since the launch of our 2016 report last July, there have been 12 changes to the coal list and four changes to the oil and gas list. In our annual estimation of the carbon budget allocated to CU200 public fossil fuel reserve owners, we calculate that the global carbon budget for the CU200 for the years 2017 to 2050 is 80.8 Gt CO2, which is down about 21.6% from last year’s CU200 carbon budget of 103 Gt CO2. However, with the potential emissions embedded in the reserves of the CU200 at 491.9 Gt CO2, the CU200’s potential embedded emissions are now 608.8% more than their allocated carbon budget. Learn about the report and download it here.

October 2017: The Carbon Underground Tar Sands 20

Long opposed for their huge environmental footprint and resource-intensive production, tar sands reserves generate a premium of CO2 emissions over conventionally produced oil because of the energy required to extract and process them. The Carbon Underground Tar Sands 20 identifies the 20 public fossil fuel companies with the highest potential CO2 emissions embedded in their oil sands reserves. Learn about this study here.

July 2016: The Carbon Underground 2016

Since the release of our last report in February of 2015, the potential emissions owned by companies on The Carbon Underground 200TM (CU200) declined by almost 15% from last year, but are still more than 460% of the carbon budget to 2050 allocated to the CU200. The decline in emissions and the company turnover on the list are largely the result of conditions facing coal companies: coal mine suspensions and closures, along with an extensive round of due diligence assessing the reasonableness of reported coal reserves. While the oil and gas industry also faced significant headwinds from depressed commodity prices, potential emissions from The Carbon Underground Oil and Gas 100 declined only slightly. Investor activity prompted by climate risk is surging. These investors have diverse objectives, ranging from those seeking to promote planetary health to those seeking to manage their portfolio risks. Learn about the report and download it here.

April 2015: Harvard’s Financing of CO2 Emissions from the Reserves of Fossil Fuel Companies

Fossil Free Indexes analyzed the publicly reported direct fossil fuel holdings of Harvard’s endowment. With almost $1 billion in this directly held portion, Harvard finances 2.3 million tons of potential CO2 emissions related to the reserves of fossil fuel companies. Harvard’s policy portfolio, which guides its strategic asset allocation, suggests that a third of the endowment is invested in public equities through investment manager mandates. Assuming typical emissions intensities associated with equity categories, the Harvard endowment is estimated to finance more than 100 million tons of potential CO2 emissions from the reserves of fossil fuel companies through direct and indirect holdings of public equities. Such a level of emissions would rank a company at #88 on the Carbon Underground 100 Oil & Gas list. Learn about the report and download it here.

February 2015: The Carbon Underground 2015

In the year since we introduced The Carbon Underground 200TM, an increasing number of institutions and individuals have recognized the growing risk that most fossil fuel reserves cannot be used and thus could become “stranded,” and have taken steps to reduce their holdings of coal, oil, and gas investments. This first annual update of the published version of The Carbon Underground shows that the CO2 emissions potential of the reserves of the world’s 200 largest public fossil fuel companies continues to grow. The reserves-based emissions potential of these companies amount to almost five times more than can be burned for the world to have an 80% chance of limiting global temperature rise to 2°C. Download the report here.

September 2014: The CalPERS Portfolio and Fossil Fuel Reserve-related CO2 Emissions

This report identifies and analyzes the publicly disclosed U.S. domestic and international equity and long term debt investments held by California Public Employees’ Retirement System (CalPERS) in The Carbon Underground 200TM at four points in time between 2004 and 2013. Each CalPERS position was allocated a portion of the issuer’s total reserves-related potential CO2 emissions based on the extent of their holdings. CalPERS, an investment leader, is the nation’s largest pension fund, at $300 billion dollars. The size and influence of their fund makes this portfolio a desirable choice for study. Learn about this study and download the report here.

April 2014: The Carbon Underground 2014

“The Carbon Underground” identifies the 100 largest public coal companies, and 100 largest public oil and gas companies based on the potential CO2 emissions embedded in their reported reserves. This research reveals that proven reserves of the top 200 continue to grow and the estimated emissions of these reserves far exceed their allocated share of the carbon budget likely to limit global warming to 2 degrees C. Download the report here.

April 2014: Retail Investor Survey: Barriers to Divestment

Fossil Free indexes conducted a survey with of retail investor on their perception of divestment and fossil fuel free investment options. The survey suggests broadly held concern about climate change and a growing interest in divestment from fossil fuel companies. Investment advisors would likely benefit from expanding their focus on this growing niche. Learn more about the survey and the view the results here.

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Disclaimer: Fossil Free Indexes LLC and its third-party data providers and licensors do not guarantee the accuracy, completeness, timeliness or availability of the information contained herein. Nothing in this document shall constitute financial or investment advice, or an offer to buy or sell, or a promotion or recommendation of any security, financial instrument or product or trading strategy.