Barclays: Climate change risk to fossil fuel industry could be $33 trillion

NEW YORK – The risk to the fossil fuel industry, as a result of environmental action to leave fossil fuels in the ground, could be as much as $33 trillion, according comments at a panel discussion organized by the Task Force on Climate Risk Disclosure.

The task force was established in 2015 by the Bank of England Governor Mark Carney to bring more transparency to corporate disclosures related to climate change risks. The task force is led by former New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg. The risks outlined by the task force could include coastal flooding, CO2 emissions and restrictive energy policies.

The $33 trillion risk to the fossil fuel industry was suggested by a Barclays PLC analyst, according to a Bloomberg report. Such comments are part of the demands for more transparency from oil and gas companies about how their balance sheets may be affected by the global shift away from fossil fuels. As governments adopt stricter environmental policies, there’s increasing risk that companies’ untapped deposits of oil, gas and coal may go unused, turning valuable reserves into stranded assets of questionable value.

Anne Simpson, investment director of global governance at the (CALPERS) California Public Employees’ Retirement System, the largest U.S. public pension fund, remarked that fossil fuel boards are not willing to talk to their shareholders about the “tremendous” amounts of oil and gas that will remain the ground.

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