Coal: A Bad Bet

Mining and burning coal is flatly incompatible with a stable climate.

With the Paris agreement in hand, there is no excuse for banks to support an industry that flies in the face of international commitments to limit global warming to 1.5°C: an immediate halt to all coal infrastructure investment and development is urgently needed. Moreover, with sinking prices and consumption of coal, coal remains a bad investment on financial grounds. Case in point: the biggest coal companies in the U.S. have gone bankrupt in the past 2 years.

Banks and Coal

In May 2015, after a 4 year campaign by RAN, Bank of America became the first major bank to commit to get out of coal mining.

This started a domino effect: now, 5 of the 6 big Wall Street banks are getting out of coal mining. Globally, 24 banks have policies moving them away from financing coal mining and coal power.

Read more about our campaign to get Bank of America out of coal mining.

There’s a gap, however – all 6 big Wall Street banks still allow themselves to fund coal power projects in the developing world, where the vast majority of coal power buildout is planned.

Now, it is our job to hold banks accountable to their coal mining commitments, and push them to cut off support for coal power around the world.

Human Rights and the Environment

Coal mining and power operations do not only have grave consequences for the climate. Many also violate fundamental human rights.

These violations include forced resettlement, contaminating critical drinking water supplies, destroying the livelihoods that support communities, or responding to peaceful protests against environmental damage with violence. Moreover, the global climate crisis is evolving into a human rights crisis, with tens of millions of people around the world already facing impacts from drought, storms and rising sea levels caused by combustion of fossil fuels like coal.