Southeast Asian banks need to reduce coal risks

Published onSeptember 9, 2020

As the economic crisis linked to Covid-19 grips the world, banks, insurers and asset managers have even more reasons to exit from the riskiest investments in fossil fuels – starting with thermal-coal mining and coal power plants. The shift away from excessive reliance on coal power has continued at pace, despite the pandemic, and Southeast and South Asian financial institutions risk getting left behind unless they too move towards the sustainable clean energy industries of the future. Putting aside the climate issues, the economics are increasingly compelling…The financial risks of continued investment in new coal have been demonstrated during the economic crisis this year. Research by the Institute for Energy Economics and Financial Analysis (IEEFA) has shown that more than 138 globally significant financial institutions have already exited from coal, making coal plants harder to finance and a rising stranded asset risk. The trend continued this year despite Covid-19, with Japanese megabanks Sumitomo (SMBC), Mitsubishi UFJ (MUFG) and Mizuho each announcing an end to new finance for coal plants in April.