Cease Coal Financing, NGOs Urge Banks

A global coalition of 67 organisations led by NGOs Reclaim Finance and BankTrack has called on the world’s top 50 banks to cease all financial support for new metallurgical coal production and expansion. The targeted banks include Bank of America, JPMorgan Chase, Wells Fargo Bank and Goldman Sachs. Metallurgical coal represents 14% of the world’s coal and is primarily used for steelmaking and is refined into coke, a material combined with iron ore in a blast furnace to produce primary steel. Since 2016, banks have contributed at least US$557 billion in loans and underwriting to the largest metallurgical coal developers. Reclaim Finance recently found that while thermal coal investments face scrutiny for health and climate risks, metallurgical coal investments persist without much attention from banks. Since the 2015 Paris Agreement, 250 financial institutions have adopted policies against thermal coal but just nine have similar policies for metallurgical coal, none of which are US-based. The statement from the organisations said: “In the wake of an escalating climate catastrophe, it is essential that other energy sources are identified for both steelmaking and power generation, and that all coal remains in the ground.” 

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