Banks Pulling Away From Coal

Published On
May 29, 2020

The movement toward clean energy requires more than just government regulation. The private industry, and more than just utilities and energy users, has to embrace the cause. Recently, a clean energy advocacy organization reported that the shunning of coal is getting a boost from major financial institutions around the globe.

The fossil fuel watchdog group, Energy and Policy Institute, reports that banks are now shifting their business away from companies that rely on coal.

The group, which is dedicated to countering what it describes as “attacks” and “misinformation” on renewable energy by fossil fuel and utility interests, says several major banks have announced new policies in recent months that limit how they will do business with companies relying on coal.

Just this month, for example, BNP Paribas announced that it is expanding its target to end the use of coal by its electricity-producing customers by the end of 2030. This represents a ten-year target acceleration for many of the bank’s customers. The bank also announced it will no longer accept any new customers with a coal related revenue share of more than 25%.

In March, another major world financial institution announced that it was also pursuing an ambitious clean energy agenda. Barclays, a United Kingdom-based lender released its 2019 Environmental, Social and Governance report. The document set out a new climate policy for the international investment bank, including a target date of 2050 for it to also become a “net zero bank”.

The company is committed to align all of its financing activities with the goals and timelines of the Paris Agreement. In doing so, it will reach the zero-carbon goal incrementally by prohibiting financing to clients with more than 50% of their revenue from thermal coal as of 2020, transitioning to 30% as of 2025 and to 10% in 2030.

About the Author

Rick Laezman

Freelance Writer

Rick Laezman is a Los Angeles-based freelance writer who has been covering renewable power for more than 10 years. He may be reached at

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