The Future of Fossil Fuels in a Climate-Challenged World

Open cut coal mine - Hunter Valley

The politics of climate change is becoming ever more complex. Just last week in Australia we have witnessed the spectacle of our major political parties voting against moves to prohibit coal and CSG mining on agricultural land; one of the country’s most influential conservative radio commentators supporting a Greens’ politician in her efforts to limit fossil-fuel developments on farming land,  and the conservative NSW government approving a massive expansion of coal mining in the Hunter Valley (which will include the relocation of an entire village!).

We are clearly in the middle of a coal and gas rush here in Australia, as the science and economics of climate change emphasise the limited future of fossil fuel use. Despite our Prime Minister’s insistence that ‘coal is good for humanity’, the potential for fossil fuels to become ‘stranded assets’, technological innovations in renewable energy, and the rapidly growing social movement to divest from fossil fuels highlight a growing groundswell of economic and political change.

Later this month, the Balanced Enterprise Research Network (BERN) at the University of Sydney will host a visit by Ben Caldecott, Director of the Stranded Assets programme at the Smith School of Enterprise and Environment at the University of Oxford and an Adviser to The Prince of Wales’ International Sustainability Unit. During his visit, Ben will present a number of talks on the issue of fossil fuels as stranded assets and the implications for Australian investments in coal mining.

In particular on the evening of Tuesday March 31st, Ben will participate in a public panel discussion on ‘The Future of Fossil Fuels in a Climate-Challenged World‘. This will also include Blair Palese, CEO of 350.org in Australia, and Giles Parkinson, founder and editor of well known online publication RenewEconomy. While Ben will focus on the issue of fossil fuels as stranded assets, Blair will outline developments in the social movement for fossil fuel divestment, and Giles will explore the dramatically falling cost of renewable energy technologies and the competitive threat they now pose to fossil fuel energy.

Don’t miss this very timely and important discussion. Registration for the event is free.

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