From the Introduction:
Burning coal, oil and natural gas is responsible for two-thirds of the world’s emissions of greenhouse gases. These same fuels also represent the economic mainstay of resource-rich countries and the world’s largest firms. Any steps humanity takes to reduce climate-warming emissions will damage commercial opportunities. Relief for the climate means danger for the fossil fuel business. Given the stakes, it bears asking: What, exactly, are the risks? How are they manifested and distributed? Luminaries such as the US president and the governor of the Bank of England have called for leaving large portions of oil, gas, and coal reserves in the ground. International Energy Agency director Fatih Birol has said that two-thirds of known fossil fuel reserves can never be burned if humanity is to prevent average global temperatures from rising by more than 2°C. Pope Francis, the leader of the world’s 1.2 billion Catholics, has called for “swift and unified global action” on climate change. For fossil fuel businesses, such statements represent existential threats. By Citicorp’s estimate, large-scale resource abandonment translates into an eye-watering $100 trillion in foregone fossil fuel revenues by 2050.
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