Blowing Carbon Bubbles

18 July 2013

This morning we descended upon the London Stock Exchange AGM to highlight the burgeoning carbon bubble that threatens both climate catastrophe and economic collapse if not promptly burst.

The ‘carbon bubble’ is the amount of CO2 that will be released into the atmosphere if all of the ‘proven reserves’ owned by the largest fossil fuel companies are extracted and burnt. The value of these companies is largely based upon these reserves yet burning them is totally incompatible with averting climate catastrophe. Since they make up such a substantial proportion of LSE shares (about 25% at £900 billion), and therefore our GDP, this disjuncture with reality could cause another economic crisis not dissimilar to the housing crash of 2008.

The amount of ‘unburned carbon’ held on the LSE is immense: 472 times larger than the annual emissions of the UK and more than the entire world has burned for the past six years. Clearly burning this mass of fossil fuel would constitute an unmitigated disaster when there is a desperate need to transition to clean energy. We therefore set out to bring our concerns to the attention of the LSE AGM attendees.

We handed out bottles of blowing bubbles bright and early, onto which we’d put stickers outlining the concept of the ‘carbon bubble’ and the urgent need to address it. We hope that these stakeholders took a minute to mull it over and prepare themselves for some concerted campaigning on this front.



The Paris attacks make climate protests more important than ever

18 November 2015

It will be deeply ironic if climate activists from around the world are among the first to fall foul of France's emergency powers. Of course, those campaigners have nothing to do with the brutal attacks on Paris last Friday night. On the contrary, they will challenge the unequal, unsustainable and militaristic policies on which terrorism has thrived.

Food speculation rules face delay

16 November 2015

The financial press was buzzing last week with reports that the high profile EU legislation to tackle the financial crisis of 2007-8 is at risk of being delayed. This legislation was passed at the beginning of 2014 and thanks to public campaigning here in the UK and across Europe, includes provisions to tackle reckless betting on food prices.

The elephant in Paris – guns and greenhouse gases

13 November 2015

There is no shortage of words in the latest negotiating document for the UN climate negotiations taking place in Paris at the end of November – 32,731 words to be precise and counting. Yet strangely there is one word you won’t find: military. It’s a strange omission, given that the US military alone is the single largest user of petroleum in the world and has been the main enforcer of the global oil economy for decades.