30 April 2014
Adani – owners of what would be Australia’s biggest ever coal mine – have just been ranked as the company with the third most unburnable coal in the world. We thought that was an achievement worth recognising, so in a mock award celebration, Market Forces went to Adani’s Brisbane offices today to hand a “Stranded Asset Award” to the company.
We arrived at their offices with a banner and trophy to recognise their achievement but were disappointed to learn that CEO Jeyakumar Janakaraj wouldn’t come out of his meeting to receive the award. Staff seemed unaware that Adani had amassed such enormous quantities of unburnable coal.
If the world is to stand an 80% chance of keeping global warming to less than 2˚C, then four fifths of the owned fossil fuel reserves cannot be burned. Companies with large amounts of fossil fuels on their books have a massive financial liability on their hands as the world moves to minimise greenhouse gas emissions.
Research out today from Fossil Free Indexes lists the top 100 companies with the most unburbable oil and gas, and the top 100 owners of unburnable coal. Adani came in at #3 on the coal list, mainly due to the fact that they are trying to develop the Carmichael coal mine in the Galilee Basin. Carmichael alone makes up more than half the 25 billion tonnes of CO2 emissions that would be released if Adani’s coal is burned. 25 billion tonnes is more than twenty years of Australia’s emissions.
Financial analysts are increasingly commenting on the risk that coal mines such as those in the Galilee Basin risk becoming stranded assets due to the deteriorating coal market. Analysis from the Institute for Energy Economics and Financial Analysis and the Oxford Smith School Stranded Assets have both concluded that the proposed coal mines in the Galilee Basin are likely to become stranded. Investors are becoming visibly anxious about the future of fossil fuels, with the London FTSE Group recently agreeing to work with the world’s biggest fund manager – BlackRock – to assist investors in finding fossil free options.
Market Forces Lead Campaigner Julien Vincent said in recognition of Adani as he handed over the award:
In the face of a declining coal market and investors looking to find ways out of fossil fuels, Adani’s doubling of it’s unburnable coal is an astonishing feat. While this is terrible news for the environment and Adani’s shareholders, we can’t fault the company’s bravery in taking on such a massive risk, so they thoroughly deserve this award.