Targeting Fossil Fuels: The Political and Economic Case

Malaysian Theatre, Basement Level 1, Melbourne School of Design, Masson Road, Parkville, VIC 3010


From the Stop Adani campaign to the divestment movement, recent years have seen a surge in political activism targeting fossil fuels. Partly in response to this, governments in growing numbers are introducing policies directly targeting fossil fuel activities, including strategies to phase-out coal-fired power generation, bans on new oil and gas exploration, and fossil fuel divestments from sovereign wealth funds. In turn, new international networks and platforms are emerging to facilitate international cooperation on such policies—for instance, the Powering Past Coal Alliance, launched in November 2017. All of this activity is contributing to the emergence of nascent global moral norms against fossil fuels.

Drawing on a suite of recent publications on supply-side climate policy, “anti-fossil fuel norms”, the normative foundations of climate policies, and fossil fuel bans, Fergus Green and Richard Denniss will explain the political and economic logics behind this new wave of collective climate action.

The audio-visual content from this presentation is now available below:


Dr Richard Denniss is Chief Economist at The Australia Institute.

Fergus Green is a researcher at the London School of Economics & Political Science. In 2014–2015 he was a Policy Analyst and Research Advisor to Professor Nicholas Stern at the LSE’s Grantham Research Institute on Climate Change & the Environment. He is an alumnus of the University of Melbourne (BA/LLB hons.) and an Associate of the Melbourne Sustainable Society Institute.