Models Of Stranded Fossil Fuel Assets Cannot Be Trusted
The GWPF is today publishing a brief comment on the recent and much publicised paper in Nature Climate Change by J.-F. Mercure et al.
Dr Mercure and his colleagues offer modelled outputs to suggest that fossil fuel demand will fall sharply on the basis of current policies, and with additional policies arising from the Paris Agreement commitments they predict that the value of fossil fuel assets will collapse by 2035.
In their comment, Professor Gordon Hughes and Dr John Constable point out that for several reasons these are implausibly strong claims, that should not have passed the peer review process.
Professor Hughes and Dr Constable write:
“This paper appears to be yet another exercise in producing speculative numbers that fit a particular set of preconceptions without any willingness to make a meaningful commitment to the predictions. Journalists, such as those who gave so many column inches to this paper, should be very careful in reporting modelling exercises even from prestigious academic sources, particularly when they are at complete variance with the behaviour of investors who are both informed and strongly motivated to reflect accurately on the probable future of that market.”