Coal is the number-one single source for increasing global temperatures, with coal-fired electricity generation accounting for 30% of the world’s carbon dioxide emissions. And yet, scores of banks and institutional investors continue to pump money into supporting and expanding this fossil fuel industry, new research finds.
As of January 2021, institutional investors such as pension funds, asset managers and insurance companies around the world held investments worth more than $1 trillion in coal, with U.S. investors collectively holding 58% of the institutional investment in the global coal industry.
Commercial banks, meanwhile, have increased their funding of coal companies since the 2016 signing of the Paris climate agreement, in which countries pledged to limit global warming to well below 2 degrees Celsius.
The new research, released Thursday by Urgewald, Reclaim Finance and Rainforest Action Network along with 26 other nonprofits, examined the money flowing to 934 coal companies using information