1 Mar 2020

CIFF calls on leading banks and regulators to end coal finance

As part of CIFF’s commitment to address the climate emergency, our trustees Dr Graeme Sweeney and Sir Christopher Hohn have written to the heads of the UK and EU central banks and major financial institutions calling for action to end the financing of coal. 

Coal is the single largest source of greenhouse gas emissions globally and the risks of its continued use in the power sector are not being adequately addressed by regulators and the financial system. Having worked to phase out coal for over 10 years, CIFF is now calling on regulators and banks to correctly account for and disclose the risks coal poses to humans, the environment and to bank balance sheets.


In their letters, Dr Graeme Sweeney and Sir Christopher Hohn are asking banks to disclose their financing of coal-based activities. They are also calling on regulators to make these disclosures mandatory and to significantly increase the applied risk-weighting of coal loans. These policy moves, among others, would be impactful ways of making coal uneconomic and bringing an end to its harmful emissions. 


“Over the last three years alone, global financial institutions have channelled $745bn in new lending and underwriting to companies developing coal plants, and UK and European banks remain counterparties for financing of their existing and new projects”


We are faced with a climate emergency, which is the single greatest threat to the future of today’s children. If we don’t secure commitments to end coal this year, we are confronting the closing of the window to limit warming to 1.5 degrees. There is no more time – banks and regulators must act now.


You can find copies of the letters in the links below. 


To learn more about our work on climate, visit our climate change portfolio.