To halt climate change, the 2015 Paris Agreement implicitly requires leaving fossil fuels underground (LFFU) and the coherent financial flows that would enable decarbonization. This will strand anywhere between $16-300 trillion of fossil fuel resources and assets, affecting big investors: fossil fuel firms, shareholders, debt financiers and governments. Research is scarce on these big investors, the implications of LFFU for developing countries with fossil fuel resources and how LFFU can be equitably mobilized.
CLIFF asks: What is the role of big investors in LFFU? What are the North-South implications of LFFU? And what measures can be taken by whom to equitably allocate and accelerate shareholder and stakeholder responsibility in energy transformation for inclusive development?
Who We Focus On
Our research investigates big investors and countries with new fossil fuel discoveries, as well as other growing vested interests in opposing needed climate policy, all within changing global North-South dynamics. We focus on the following actor groups:
Fossil Fuel Firms
Global worth as much as $300 trillion; many have valuations higher than most countries.
Controlled 51 percent of 2019 GDP; managed between $270 and $980 billion in liquid fossil fuel assets in 2019.
US, EU, and Asian banks lent $2.7 trillion (2015–20) for fossil fuels.
Have $100s of billions in total assets, many with ties to the fossil fuel sector
Low- and Middle- Income Countries
Nearly 85 percent of global oil reserves and 67 percent of coal reserves are found in LMICs outside of North America and Europe