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NEW REPORT : "The end of coal? 2015 Coal Finance Report Card"
There's a growing global recognition that it's time for banks to stop funding coal: it's financially risky and implicates them in serious environmental and human rights abuses. But the largest global investment banks continued to finance coal mining and power last year.
As the 2015 Coal Finance Report Card, The End of Coal?, published by Rainforest Action Network, BankTrack, and the Sierra Club, makes clear:
- Even with the financial distress faced by the global coal industry in 2014, global financing for coal mining and top coal-fired power companies held steady at $141 billion, compared to $145 billion in 2013.
- Disappointingly, major banks have also financed several worst-of-the-worst "extreme coal" producers with major human and environmental impacts. Continued exposure to these coal mining companies shows that several banks continue to fail to meet their basic human rights and environmental responsibilities.
- On the positive side, in 2014, a critical mass of banks said "no" to particularly destructive coal mining projects and practices, including proposed development of the Galilee Basin in Australia, and mountaintop removal mining in the United States.
This year's report card rates the coal financing policies and practices of the largest global banks and highlights key case studies of global coal mining and power companies.
The banking industry must heed the warning signs of coal's systemic crisis, and take immediate steps to cut ties with the industry. If banks wait for the market to force them to transition away from coal, it will be too late for the climate.