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The quantity of fossil fuels which we would have to abandon is often referred to as ‘unburnable carbon’. According to a widely-quoted study by Carbon Tracker, there is significant potential for this unburnable carbon to result in major economic losses.9 If capital investment in carbon-emitting infrastructure continues at recent rates, it estimates that up to 6.74 trillion US$ (nearly twice the GDP of Germany in 2016) would be wasted over the next decade in the development of reserves that will eventually be unburnable. The study defines this as ‘stranded assets’.


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