Project Report:
Fossil Fuel Risk Bonds
- Investigates the causes of economic imbalances.
- Investigates the effect of the global financial system and/or the monetary system in fostering a sustainable economy.
- Explores and develops market-based solutions.


CSE's Fossil Fuel Risk Bond program addresses the hidden subsidies we all pay in the form of externalized costs of fossil fuel extraction, transport, storage and combustion. In line with the internationally recognized “polluter pays" principal, our work on fossil fuel risk bonds is an effort to get these costs borne by the polluter.


The fossil fuel industry is exacting a growing cost on the lives of all people, and the planet overall. The costs of climate change alone is as Lord Richard Stern noted in his "Stern Review of Climate Change" in 2006, the "greatest and widest-ranging market failure ever seen, presenting a unique challenge for economics." This market failure means that the market for oil, gas and coal is distorted in favor of these polluting energy resources over carbon-free and low carbon energy solutions. One way of preventing this market distortion from continuing is to put a price on carbon at the national level. Our project is exploring an alternative approach - fossil fuel risk bond programs. These programs would empower state and local governments to enact a range of financial assurance mechanisms to ensure that fossil fuel corporations, and not taxpayers, bear the full costs catastrophic accidents, leaks, spills, and climate change.


We are eager to enact a fossil fuel risk bond program in Portland, Oregon as a proof of concept demonstration at the city level. At the moment, we are focused on Portland, OR, in the aftermath of our successful campaign in support of an ordinance that passed last year calling for an end to all new fossil fuel infrastructure. There is now some serious concern about existing fossil fuel infrastructure that poses great risks to the surrounding Portland land and waterways. Once we have this demonstration project in place and proven in Portland, such a bonding mechanism could be taken up by every local community that chooses to enact it.

Amount Approved
$30,000.00 on 8/1/2018 (Check sent: 8/27/2018)

1294 14th Street
West Linn, OR 97068

(503) 657-7336
(510) 384-5724
(503) 657-7336


Dr. John Talberth
President and Senior Economist, Center for Sustainable Economy

Posted 3/23/2018 6:35 PM
Updated   1/7/2019 6:53 PM

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