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rtcc respoNd

He had at least one angry argument on the Henderson trading foor That gave reason for fund managers all around the world – Australia,
with a “very senior fund manager” who dismissed his concerns. This, Canada, America, Europe and Scandanavia – to start challenging
he tells RTCC, was not unusual. companies,” says Campanale.
“The city is populated with people who… it’s not that they can’t get The tny CTI research team thought the report would be the end of
it – it’s that they don’t want to get it. My own experience of talking it. Campanale even missed the launch to take his kids to the Lattude
to mining and oil analysts at Henderson where I worked was their music festval. Quite the opposite.
struggle with the idea you couldn’t burn all the fossil fuels. That was
incomprehensible.” The 31-page report caused a str across the city. An old friend in a
law frm called to cancel an appearance at a mini-launch – its fndings
Atempts to take his theory to other investor friends in the City were were toxic.
rebufed. “Even some of the top sustainability folks would not sit
down and discuss it. They just weren’t interested in it.” “The signifcance hadn’t dawned untl we tried to launch it at a
few law and accountng frms and we faced huge resistance,” says
The idea there is a fnite amount of carbon dioxide that can be Campanale.
emited was born of the back of the 2010 UN climate summit in
Cancun, when countries formally commited to limitng warming to Instead, support came from a wholly unexpected angle, in the
2C above pre-industrial levels. form of veteran climate actvist Bill McKibben, founder of the 350.
org NGO. He was sent the report by fellow campaigner and author
The Potsdam Climate Insttute calculated that for a 20% chance of Naomi Klein, who was stunned at its implicatons for the fossil fuel
avoiding this ceiling, a maximum of 886 billion tonnes (GT) of carbon giants.
dioxide could be released by 2050.
The CTI’s number crunching proved the genesis for one of the
That meant litle to the general public, but the ‘Unburnable Carbon’ most powerful climate essays in the last decade: Global Warming’s
report spelt out its consequences for fossil fuel companies. It said Terrifying New Math, published in RollingStone magazine on 19 July
only a fracton of the carbon in the world’s fossil fuel reserves – 2860 2012, authored by McKibben.
GT CO2 – could be used if countries were serious about meetng the “I did base that artcle, and the subsequent divestment campaign, on
2C goal.
CTI’s numbers,” he tells RTCC in an email.
In a stroke, the CTI rendered the majority of reserves held by the
likes BP, Shell, Exxon, Chevron and Peabody unburnable, posing a “Those numbers have helped the world understand the contours
of the greatest problem we’ve ever faced. Without their math we
direct challenge to their business models.
wouldn’t understand the momentum we must somehow stop to
“We knew that when you have a cap there would be a catight about have a chance with climate change.”
who could burn fossil fuels and not everyone would be winners.

Photo: © Bryan Elder l 23
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