15 July 2020

Fool’s Gold

Download Report

Updated for 2020, Fool’s Gold – The financial institutions risking our renewable energy future with coal examines eight European, and four significant international, financial institutions with close ties to Europe’s eight most polluting coal companies, finding that all continued to pump money into companies responsible for half of all EU coal-based CO2 emissions in the year after the IPCC released its 1.5 degrees C special report in Oct 2018. 

These European financial institutions, international investors, and banks including BlackRock and the Japanese megabanks, are keeping Europe’s terminally declining coal industry on life support, handing companies €12 billion in investment, and €9.8 billion in loans and underwriting in less than 1.5 years. Such financial support is risking Europe’s ability to hit UN Paris Climate Agreement targets, and hindering renewable energy development.

Europe’s most coal-exposed investor was the Norwegian Government Pension Fund, which invested €1.5 billion in shares and bonds, closely followed by Crédit Agricole with €1.4 billion, Allianz with €1.1 billion, and Deutsche Bank with €1.0 billion. Internationally, BlackRock’s investments totalled €7.0 billion.

On the creditor side, UniCredit provided €2.8 billion in loans and underwriting services, followed by BNP Paribas with €2.1 billion, Barclays with €1.7 billion and Société Générale with €1.3 billion.

Japanese megabanks Mizuho Financial Group, Sumitomo Mitsui Financial Group (SMBC) and Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group (MUFG) have provided loans and underwriting of €1.9 billion.

European financial institutions have been releasing nearly one new policy per week limiting financial ties to coal companies so far in 2020. While some financial institutions have recently adopted stricter coal exclusion policies, some remain too weak, and others need to be proven. Fool’s Gold shows that a huge amount of support for coal is still getting through overall.

Read also
BLOG
REPORT
BRIEFING
PRESS RELEASE
INFOGRAPHIC

11 November 2018

103 companies still operate coal power plants in the EU, this report models every company’s impact from their coal power plants on the air we breathe.

BLOG
REPORT
BRIEFING
PRESS RELEASE
INFOGRAPHIC

18 December 2019

With 15 countries that have announced to end coal burning since 2015, we can reflect back on a wealth of policy experience gained in the last four years.

BLOG
REPORT
BRIEFING
PRESS RELEASE
INFOGRAPHIC

10 July 2023

Small and medium-sized enterprises across Europe have been hit hard by the fossil fuel energy crisis. They know renewables and greater efficiency are their best options to cut bills, build resilience, and improve competitiveness, and they’re keen to take big steps to transition to them.

BLOG
REPORT
BRIEFING
PRESS RELEASE
INFOGRAPHIC

23 March 2022

The Solar Potential of Coal Sites in Turkey report shows that approximately half of Turkey’s open-cast coal mines are suitable for conversion to solar farms.