More financial institutions to restrict coal finance

More financial institutions, including a Chinese financier, two European insurers and a French asset manager, brought in new restrictions on thermal coal financing, insurance and/or investment.

Also, two Australian regulatory authorities called on governments and financial markets to prepare for climate change transition.

State Development and Investment Corporation (SDIC) was the first major domestic Chinese financial institution to exit coal, with two major European insurers being UNIQUA of Austria and MAPFRE of Spain and BNP Paribas.

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SDIC is the largest Chinese investment holding company with US$1,461 billion under management (AuM). SDIC focused on reform and innovation, facilitating and guiding the development of new industries across China. Over the last decade, coal-related investments have been one of SDIC’s leading profit contributors, the firm said.

Also, the first Chinese domestic financier announced a total coal exit as SDIC finalised its complete withdrawal from the coal industry and would no longer invest in thermal power plant.

What is more, the Australian Prudential Regulation Authority (APRA) recently noted the threat of climate change was ‘distinctly financial’ and that it was crucial for companies and countries to seize emerging opportunities or risk being left behind.

APRA’s Commissioner also noted that ‘the companies leading the shift towards the low carbon economy’ tended to be ‘most sophisticated businesses’ – a clear message to both governments and companies to increase their risk mitigation strategies and a program of transition away from carbon intensive industries, it said.

Over 100 global institutions and counting were expected to exit thermal coal finance and insurance, according to IEEFA’s report.

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