A new paper in the respected science publication Nature analyses just how much of our fossil fuel reserves cannot be exploited if we are to have a chance of preventing more than 2 deg C of global warming.
By assuming the cheapest fuels will be used first the authors have been able to calculate the percentages of each fuel type that has to be left unburned for individual countries. The overall figures are 82% for coal, 49% for gas and 33% for oil. The figures for counties are given in this excellent summary. The original Nature article was the result of research carried out at London’s UCL.
Meanwhile the big oil and gas producers are investing billions in searching for new reserves, banking on the world never committing to a reduction in CO2 emissions. When the world does come to its senses and investors realise there is no future in fossil fuels, share prices of these companies will tumble with huge implications for the world economy. Interestingly the Bank of England and Goldman Sachs are taking this seriously and investing the implications of these changes.
In another sign of movement E.ON has decided to spin off its fossil fuel interests into a new company and concentrate on renewables, distribution networks, and energy efficiency services.