Copland Theatre (Basement), The Spot, 198 Berkeley Street, Carlton



Ben Neville


This event is free - registration is essential

The University of Melbourne Asia Pacific Social Impact Leadership Centre, in partnership with the Cluster for the study of Organisation, Society and Markets (COSM), presented a public forum:

The Carbon Bubble

Will fossil fuel 'stranded assets' cause the next GFC?  

If coal, oil and gas companies are permitted to exploit all the resources they have currently discovered, the world's climate will warm well beyond the 2C limit governments have agreed is necessary to avoid the worst effects of climate change. An HSBC study found that removing the 'stranded assets' from the balance sheets of fossil fuel companies would halve their sharemarket value. Aggregating these losses is in the realm of $2 trillion: a greater impact on global sharemarkets than the 2008 GFC. Reports by Citibank, Standard & Poors, Bloomberg, the Bank of England, Oxford University, London School of Economics and others support the seriousness of the carbon bubble threat. Meanwhile, the scientific evidence of climate change continues to pile up, the likelihood of a post-Kyoto global political agreement is increasing, and the divestment movement gathers momentum.

It is timely, therefore, to consider the economic implications of the carbon bubble. How should investors be responding to this issue? What can managers and shareholders of fossil fuel companies do in the face of this threat? And what can governments and policy makers do to avoid or reduce the impacts?

This public forum explored these issues by drawing on the expertise of the following speakers:

  • Moderator: Peter Ryan, Business Editor, ABC
  • Hon John Hewson, Chair, Asset Owners Disclosure Project
  • Prof Ross Garnaut, University of Melbourne
  • Jemma Green, Curtin University, former J.P. Morgan
  • Tony Wood, Energy Program Director, Grattan Institute

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