1. Start
  2. Deliverables
An oil  refinary


The project will deliver a final report, peer-review research papers, policy briefings and a dataset outlining major actors, regional trends and flows of finance. An event will be arranged to launch the report.

December 1, 2021, Building Bridges conference Geneva

The project will organise a panel on sustainable investments, post-Covid 19 economic recovery, and petrochemicals.

Building Bridges conference Geneva External link, opens in new window.

October 5-8, 2021, 12th International Sustainability Transitions (IST) conference. Mainstreaming sustainability transitions – from research towards impact

Joachim Peter Tilsted presented a paper co-authored with Fredric Bauer on theoretical implications of global networks for the sustainability transitions literature with an empirical focus on the global petrochemical industry. https://www.ist2021-karlsruhe.de/ist2021-en/

December 1, 2021, Building Bridges External link, opens in new window. conference Geneva, The project will organise a panel on sustainable investments, post-Covid 19 economic recovery, and petrochemicals.

OnlineWorkshop 15 September 2021 Carbon Clarity in the Petrochemical Sector

Fredric Bauer was part of the high-profile panel on Session 3: Focus on Plastics. The event was part of the C-THRU project where Fredric Bauer and Tobias Dan Nielsen are part of the International Advisory Panel.

Online Workshop | 15th September External link, opens in new window.

September 7-9, 2021, Earth System Governance Conference:

  • Online panel: An overlooked giant – A Round Table on Petrochemicals and Climate Governance. This roundtable was organised by the project and attended by Fredric Bauer, Carolyn Deere Birkbeck, Alice Mah, Tobias Dan Nielsen, and and attended by Fredric Bauer, Carolyn Deere Birkbeck, Alice Mah, and Tobias Dan Nielsen. Innovative Session III External link, opens in new window.
  • Online presentation: Joachim Peter Tilsted presented a paper co-authored with Fredric Bauer on networks in the global petrochemical industry and their implications for governance. 2021 bratislava conference External link, opens in new window.

September 2, 2021, Presentation at high-level meeting with the UN Secretary General and his Senior Management Group (SMG).

Carolyn Deere Birkbeck discussed the need for a UN-wide strategy on plastic pollution, that includes a focus on the carbon footprint and impacts of petrochemicals and plastics sectors.

Publication (academic journal) September 2021: Plastic dinosaurs: Digging deep into the accelerating carbon lock-in of plastics.

Fredric Bauer together with Germain Fontenit published at piece on aspects of the carbon lock-in in the plastics industry and how it extends into many aspects of contemporary Life. Plastic dinosaurs – Digging deep into the accelerating carbon lock-in of plasticslife External link, opens in new window.

Online workshop 30 and 31 August 2021 Global Governance of Plastic Pollution: Transforming the Global Plastics Economy.

The teams presented work from the project at several panels during the two day conference. The event was organised by the Global Governance Centre and the Forum on Trade, Environment & the SDGs (TESS) with project members Carolyn Deere Birkbeck (TESS director) and Luísa Cortat being key organisers. The event attracted a large international audience.

Petrochemicals: Major credits, carbon risks, green bonds

White paper providing an overview of the petrochemical sector and its climate change impact. It also provides a financial review of the intersection of carbon and credit risks, and analysis one of the first green bonds out of the petrochemical sector namely from top petrochemical producer BASF.

Collaborate effort with Ulf Erlandsson (Anthropocene Fixed Income Institute) and Anastasiya Ostrovnaya (Imperial College London).

Online workshop March 8th and 9th 2021 - Petrochemicals and Climate Change: Corporate power, networks and international governance

The project organised an online workshop to discuss key findings, knowledge gaps, and a research agenda concerning the intersection between of petrochemicals and climate change. The workshop provided an opportunity for both the project group and participants to present and discuss ongoing work, preliminary findings, and future plans.

The long-term aim is for this workshop was to kick-start a series of regular meetings among key experts (both academic and non-profit research) to help drive forward and develop the research agenda on petrochemicals, and its interlinkages with fossl fuels, climate change, and the environment.


  • Petrochemical sector dynamics
  • Finance
  • Narratives of incumbents
  • Global governance

Final report

The project will be organised around a core report (final report), structured into five interlinked chapters. Each chapter will map the broader picture within its area, identify key data and/or knowledge gaps, focus the analysis on two key aspects, provide novel data and/or unique insights, and identify possible further research. Although, the chapters cover a broad range of topics on petrochemicals, they also include a cross-cutting theme: lock-ins (infrastructural, economic, political) that maintain status quo of the petrochemical sector and opportunities that can break this lock-in and help facilitate a low-carbon transition of the sector.

The results of this report will strengthen the analytical foundation for decision makers and other relevant
stakeholders including non-profit groups and scholars to engage with the petrochemical sector.

The chapters:

  • Chapter 1 maps the most important actors in the industry and how they are shaping the future development of the industry and its climate impact through investments in expansions and other actions.
  • Chapter 2 maps the webs of public and private finance.
  • Chapter 3 investigates the political and regulatory strategies of the petrochemical sector in maintaining the carbon lock-in.
  • Chapter 4 maps and analyses global governance regimes that provide the existing framework for the petrochemicals sector, identifying intersections, gaps and strategic entry points for policy advocacy to promote a low carbon transition of the sector.
  • Chapter 5 presents an analysis and recommendations of a different types of policies aiming to support a low-carbon transition of the sector.

Research papers, policy briefings and dataset

Each chapter in the final report will be made in to a stand-alone report for dissemination purposes, a short policy brief and/or popular science article, and a peer-reviewed academic publication.

An original dataset will be created, outlining the major actors, regional trends, and flows of finance, as well as visualizations based on the dataset.

Launch event

To launch the final report, a digital event will be organised to which selected academic experts, non-profit organisations, and policy practitioners will be invited. A session will be held for each of the chapters providing amble room for forward-looking discussions. The presentations will be broadcast online and be accessible for any interested parties. The event will be used to discuss the findings with the invited participants and plan for how to take the work forward – in terms of research, policy, and activism.

Strenghten the petrochemicals network

Through engagement with other academics (and practitioners) in the research and dissemination process, the project aim to strengthen the research network on petrochemicals and facilitate shared learning that moves forward the research agenda, and that spurs follow-on research.