Coal financing is still booming – led by China (Bloomberg/Mining Weekly – December 20, 2023)

The amount of bank financing going to mining coal, the dirtiest fossil fuel of them all, remains at surprisingly high levels. Most of it is coming from China.

A new report from researchers at BloombergNEF shows that all funding for coal projects and coal-exposed companies needs to drop precipitously to limit the chances of global temperatures rising more than 1.5 °C by midcentury.

Banks arranged about $120-billion of financing for coal projects last year, equal to about 13% of all the financing arranged for fossil-fuel projects, according to BNEF. That ratio needs to fall to just 1% at most by the 2040s to limit the impact of climate change, BNEF’s research shows.

The lion’s share of the coal business emanates from China. In fact, 76% of measured coal financing – or $93-billion – took place in the world’s second-biggest economy last year. The US was a distant second at $10-billion, followed by $3-billion for both India and Germany.

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