Climate action ‘could halve energy firms’ worth’

From Climate News Network:

If the world succeeds in reaching its targets for curbing greenhouse gases, a leading bank says, this will mean huge quantities of oil and gas reserves must be left unused.

February 1, 2013

LONDON, 2 February – Oil and gas multinationals could lose up to 60% of their market value if the world cuts its carbon emissions to limit climate change, according to the world’s second-largest bank.

This is the first time the financial sector has been warned by one of its own that shares could plummet if the necessary action is taken to prevent disaster.

The study, Oil and Carbon revisited: Value at risk from ‘unburnable’ reserves, is published by HSBC Global Research.

The International Energy Agency (IEA) said in its 2012  World Energy Outlook that in order to have a 50% chance of limiting the rise in global temperatures to 2°C, only a third of current fossil fuel reserves can be burned before 2050.

Staying within the 2°C limit would mean keeping carbon dioxide concentrations in the atmosphere to 450 parts per million (ppm). They are already at 390 ppm, and are increasing by about 2 ppm a year.

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