$470 Billion for Coal

Over the past 3 years, commercial banks provided $80 billion in loans and $390 billion through underwriting to the coal industry, all in all channelling $470 billion to the industry since January 2021. 

Coal Financing Since Paris

Missing the Turn

Since 2016, after COP20 in Paris, world leaders agreed to limit Global Warming to 1.5 degrees. 

In 2021, the International Energy Agency issued its Net Zero by 2050 scenario and called for a rapid transition out of coal. It was the year in which the Glasgow COP agreed to accelerate the phase-down of coal and in which commercial banks launched the Net Zero Banking Alliance. 

2016 should have been a turning point; 2021 should have been a turning point, but the global banking industry missed both turns. Our data shows that banks are still injecting hundreds of billions of dollars into the coal industry, our climate’s worst enemy.

The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly

Out of the 638 banks covered in our research, only around 140 have significantly decreased their lending and underwriting services for the coal industry since 2016. 423 banks are still roughly at the same level, while 75 banks have actually increased their support for the coal sector.
Take a deeper dive into the countries whose commercial banks are key sources of finance for the global coal industry.


View our Country Analysis

Global Coal Exit List

This research is based on our Global Coal Exit List (GCEL). GCEL provides key metrics on 1,433 companies whose activities range from coal mining, coal trading and transport to the conversion of coal to liquids, the operation of coal-fired power stations and the manufacturing of equipment for new coal plants. It is the most comprehensive public database of companies that operate along the thermal coal value chain.

Global Coal Exit List

Fossil Fuel Banks

Climate-fueled disasters exacted a devastating toll across the world again each year. Fossil fuel companies are still making record profits and banks continue financing fossil fuel expansion. The joint NGO report Banking on Climate Chaos profiles the world’s top 60 banks by assets. It ranks them according to the financing – lending and underwriting – they have provided to fossil fuel companies since 2016. 

Banking on Climate Chaos mainly uses Urgewald's Global Coal Exit List and its Global Oil & Gas Exit List to determine relevant fossil fuel companies.

Fossil Fuel Investors

At a time when the UN warns that greenhouse gas emissions must be cut in half by 2030, pension funds, insurers, mutual funds and asset managers are still gambling away our future by sinking money into the world’s worst climate offenders. Urgewald's report Investing in Climate Chaos shows over 6500 institutional investors that held bonds and shares in fossil fuel companies to the tune of $3.05 trillion in 2023.

Investing in Climate Chaos uses the Global Coal Exit List and the Global Oil & Gas Exit List to determine relevant fossil fuel companies.