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No-so-black Friday: More coal exclusions as Carbon Tracker maps sector profits

Coal updates from France’s Caisse des dépôts and Norway’s Storebrand

Two leading European investors – French public financial institution Caisse des dépôts and Norway’s Storebrand – have this week provided updates on their coal exclusions.

It comes as Carbon Tracker has found that 42% of global coal power plants run at a loss. The financial think tank looked at the profitability of 6,685 plants and the results can be found on a new coal power economics portal.

The €150bn Caisse des dépôts et consignations (CDC), which manages public sector pensions, savings and investments, said that from next year it would no longer invest in companies that make more than 10% of their business from coal.

It hopes to help meet the targets of the Paris Climate Accord.

Meanwhile, listed life insurer Storebrand is planning a total exit from coal by 2026. The $85bn investor already excludes companies that derive more than 30% of their revenue from coal and this will be gradually tightened over the next eight years.

Storebrand made waves last month when it called German energy giant RWE, Europe’s top CO2 emitter, “toxic”.Now new research from campaign groups has found that Deutsche Bank and Goldman Sachs are the company’s top creditors.

The report, from NGO coalition Europe Beyond Coal, finds that Deutsche Bank is RWE’s most important bank and has issued €1.43bn in loans and underwriting services, followed by Goldman Sachs with €1.39bn.

On the investor side, the report said, BlackRock has almost €1.8bn in the company while Norway’s Government Pension Fund and Vanguard have €530m and €510m respectively.

“The divestment from coal has become a new standard for responsible banks and investors,” Katrin Ganswindt of coalition member Urgewald said.

“However, some of the world’s biggest banks and asset managers still ignore their role in coal’s damaging impact on health and climate. Even the Norwegian Pension Fund, praised in 2015 for its coal divestment, has not yet quit its relationship to Europe’s No. 1 CO2 polluter.”

Urgewald and fellow NGO BankTrack plan to publish new data on which banks and investors are financing the world’s top 120 coal plant developers at the COP24 climate event in Poland on December 4.