Developing countries exploring pathways to climate compatibility


International Conference: Fossil Fuel Supply & Climate Change Policy, 26-27 Sep 2016, Queens College, Oxford.

From investors to activists and world leaders, there is growing interest in whether and how climate policy should seek to limit the supply of fossil fuels in addition to reducing demand. Research suggests a large share of fossil fuel reserves will need to stay in the ground to keep warming below 2°C – but achieving this will be a daunting challenge. For many countries fossil fuel extraction and trade are central to energy security and economic development. And despite growing insights into environmental impacts of fossil fuel extraction and the financial risks of further investment in fossil fuel development, the options for supply-side climate policies and actions, their potential role and effectiveness all remain underexplored. 

This two-day conference aims to fill that gap. It will bring together academics and practitioners to discuss how to enable policies, plans and investment decisions on further fossil fuel extraction and trade to be more consistent with long-term global climate and sustainability goals.

Conference details

The conference is designed for a wide mix of researchers (e.g. economists, modelers, social scientists, and legal scholars), policy makers, and civil society participants.  Three main themes will cover a range of questions such as:

Theme 1: Fossil fuel investment: risks and consequences 

·        What are the social and economic implications of further investments in fossil fuel supply?

·        How might stranded asset risks and carbon lock-in concerns affect investment in fossil fuel production, especially in today’s low energy price environment? What are the potential impacts of emerging litigation efforts against fossil fuel producers?

·        What is the nature, extent, and impact of fossil fuel producer subsidies?

Theme 2: 
Supply-side climate policies: options, implications, and challenges to implementation

·        What are the merits and drawbacks of policies that constrain fossil fuel production as a means to help meet global climate protection goals? 

·        What are the prospects and implications of specific supply-side policies such as moratoria on new coal mines or federal leasing restrictions?

·        What are the synergies and conflicts between supply-side and more traditional demand-side climate policies, and how might they be addressed? 


Theme 3: Transitions away from fossil fuel production: political challenges and equity issues

·        What are the main political economy and geopolitical challenges of restricting fossil fuel supply, and how can they be addressed?

·        What are the equity implications of supply-side climate policy, and how can “just transitions” be achieved?

·        What is the potential role for international governance on the supply side, including the UNFCCC and international trade agreements?

In addition to the questions above, papers and presenters will be encouraged to address topical, region or context-specific cases that cut across these themes and questions, such as Norway’s debate about the future of oil and gas production; the U.S. debate over the leasing of federal lands for fossil fuel production; proposed or actual moratoria on new coal mines in China and Australia; the fate of Canadian plans for increased oil sands production, pipelines, and exports.

A call for papers will be issued in March 2016. Registration and event details will be available in May 2016.  Contact to join the conference mailing list for updates, or visit


Conference partners


Oxford Conference Partners




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