TEDxCarbonTracker is part of Countdown hosted by TED.

Speakers include:

  • Bent Erik Bakken, Senior Principal Specialist and Chief Analyst for DNV GL’s Energy Transition Outlook, DNV GL
  • Kingsmill Bond, Energy Strategist, Carbon Tracker
  • Thijs Van de Graaf, Associate Professor of International Politics, Ghent University
  • Moderator: Elizabeth Press, Director, IRENA

The debate will explore the timing of peak fossil fuel demand and what it means for financial markets and geopolitics, touching on topics from two of the Countdown themes: resilient economies and the future of energy.

Fossil fuels have enjoyed growth for the last 200 years and until recently the industry expected decades more of uninterrupted growth. However technological innovation, regulatory changes and societal pressure have brought this growth into question. Add to this a global pandemic, international lockdowns and an OPEC price war, and future of fossil fuels is highly uncertain.

DNV GL in September 2020 released groundbreaking research arguing that fossil fuel demand had peaked in 2019. Shortly after this, BP noted that oil demand had probably peaked, and China announced plans to get to net zero by 2060.

A quarter of equity markets and half of corporate bond markets are in sectors linked to the fossil fuel system. All of these sectors face disruption from peak demand in the same way that after coal demand peaked in 2013 the global coal sector lost 75% of its value and half the US coal sector went bust.

Meanwhile, petrostates dependent on high oil prices will struggle in a new environment of falling demand, with profound geopolitical consequences.

Investors, policymakers, business people, and other interested stakeholders require clear information about the transformation of the energy system to inform present decisions, which can have long-lasting impacts and build resilient economies.

A recording of the session will be made available on TED.com and TEDx YouTube.

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