In 2019 our objective was to accelerate the energy transition by focussing on the most pressing and impactful research topics. For example, with regards to the power and utilities sector, we instigated and developed a strategic programme targeting East and South East Asia regions, drawing on the research of our Power & Utilities team to promote evidence-based messages about the economics of coal and to show that renewables are increasingly becoming a lower-cost alternative. 2019 also saw us expanding into a new workstream – Gas Power, building our capabilities and capacity to model and analyse the economics of Gas Power Generation.
For Oil and Gas, our approach was to counteract the narrative of continued growth by using the carbon budget framing, including “special pleading” by companies that plan to increase production even as they accept risks to energy demand and climate imperatives. The other main objective was to educate investors to challenge non-Paris compliant investments, illustrating the financial risks relating to stranded assets and encouraging financial actors to push the natural resources industry towards climate compliant commitments.
For Energy Transition, the focus was to fundamentally re-orientate the expectations, actions and disclosure reporting of both private and public actors away from an ‘inevitable’ business-as-usual world, in which a transition to a net zero pathway comes late, abrupt and involves significant economic disruption. This was achieved through two targeted research papers that reinforced the importance of the Inevitable Policy Response (IPR) Project.
Alongside our big picture analysis of fossil fuel industry sector trends, there has been growing interest and demand for Carbon Tracker’s individual company profiles, particularly for Climate Action 100+. Investors can now find regular commentary on fossil fuel companies through our reports and website blogs. One of the highlights of 2019 was the partnership with State Street Global Advisors, a major institutional investment manager, where Carbon Tracker representatives spoke at investor seminars around Europe on climate risk. These seminars were attended by pension fund trustees and finance directors and investment advisors.
On the Regulatory and Policy front, over the last few years, Carbon Tracker has been successful in embedding its narrative into mainstream investment decision making processes. This has been made possible through our pro-active investor and media outreach, engaging with influencers, key stakeholders and partners in the financial regulator and policymaker communities.
From May-Dec 2019, we spoke at over 100 events globally targeting investors, policymakers, energy companies and financial regulators.
In the Research section we present each of our sectors in terms of the sector objective, highlights in the year and impacts.