"A rapid reduction in fossil fuels, essential to avoid devastating climate
breakdown, would have minimal financial impact on the vast majority of people,
new research has shown.
Urgently cutting back on fossil fuel production is essential to avoid the worst
impacts of climate breakdown and the economic and social turmoil that would
ensue. However, some opponents of climate action claim it is too expensive.
They argue that rapidly scaling back fossil fuel production would leave
billions of pounds of “stranded assets”, leading to an economic slump that
would impoverish the public through a fall in the value of savings and pension
Research published on Thursday finds that the loss of fossil fuel assets would
have a minimal impact on the general public.
“We find that the bulk of financial losses associated with rotten, polluting
assets is borne by the wealthy,” said the co-author Lucas Chancel, a professor
of economics at Sciences Po in Paris. “Only a small share of financial losses
is borne by the working and middle class because they have no or relatively
little financial wealth.”
The study, published in the journal Joule
, found that in high-income
countries two-thirds of the financial losses would be borne by the most
affluent 10%. In contrast, governments could easily compensate for the minimal
impact on those on middle and lower levels of wealth."
*** Xanni ***
Chief Scientist, Xanadu
Partner, Glass Wings
Manager, Serious Cybernetics