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Stranded Assets In The Transition To A Carbon-Free Economy

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  • Rick Van der Ploeg
  • Armon Rezai

Abstract

Assets in the fossil fuel industries are at risk of losing market value due to anticipated breakthroughs in renewable technology and governments stepping up climate policies in the light of the Paris commitments to limit global warming to 1.5 or 2 degrees Celsius. Stranded assets arise due to uncertainty about the future timing of these two types of events and substantial intertemporal and intersectoral investment adjustment costs. Stranding of assets mostly affects the 20 biggest oil, gas and coal companies who have been responsible for at least a third of global warming since 1965, but also carbon-intensive industries such as steel, aluminium, cement, plastics and greenhouse horticulture. A disorderly transition to the carbon-free economy will lead to stranded assets and legal claims. Institutional investors should be aware of these financial risks. A broader definition of stranded assets also includes countries reliant on fossil fuel exports and workers with technology-specific skills.

Suggested Citation

  • Rick Van der Ploeg & Armon Rezai, 2019. "Stranded Assets In The Transition To A Carbon-Free Economy," Economics Series Working Papers 894, University of Oxford, Department of Economics.
  • Handle: RePEc:oxf:wpaper:894
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    de-carbonisation; policy tipping; technology; stranded assets;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • E62 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Macroeconomic Policy, Macroeconomic Aspects of Public Finance, and General Outlook - - - Fiscal Policy
    • F41 - International Economics - - Macroeconomic Aspects of International Trade and Finance - - - Open Economy Macroeconomics
    • G11 - Financial Economics - - General Financial Markets - - - Portfolio Choice; Investment Decisions
    • O33 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Innovation; Research and Development; Technological Change; Intellectual Property Rights - - - Technological Change: Choices and Consequences; Diffusion Processes
    • Q33 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Nonrenewable Resources and Conservation - - - Resource Booms (Dutch Disease)
    • Q34 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Nonrenewable Resources and Conservation - - - Natural Resources and Domestic and International Conflicts
    • Q35 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Nonrenewable Resources and Conservation - - - Hydrocarbon Resources
    • Q40 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Energy - - - General
    • Q54 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Environmental Economics - - - Climate; Natural Disasters and their Management; Global Warming

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