The US mutual fund company Vanguard has been named the world’s largest institutional investor in the coal industry, with holdings of almost $86 bn, according to research carried out by Rainforest Action Network, Urgewald and 28 other NGO partners.
The investor is closely followed by BlackRock, which has invested over $84bn in the coal industry to date. Together, the two investments giants account for 17 per cent of all institutional investment in the coal industry.
The revelation follows calls by Larry Fink, the CEO of BlackRock, for a renewed focus on environmentally friendly investments, saying “climate risk is investment risk.”
“While many large EU investors have begun screening coal companies out of their portfolios, the vast majority of US investors have refused to adopt coal exit policies. Our research underscores how dire the consequences of this failure are,” said Katrin Ganswindt, head of financial research at Urgewald. The NGOs published a list of the top investors in the coal industry.
Top 10 Investors (2021 January or most recent filling date)
|Investor||Country||Bonds + Shares (US$ M)|
|Capital Group||United States||38,351|
|State Street||United States||32,505|
|Government Pension Investment Fund||Japan||29,083|
|T. Rowe Price||United States||15,436|
|Fidelity Investments||United States||14,857|
|Government Pension Fund Global||Norway||14,572|
|JP Morgan||United States||14,232|
A new Executive order from President Biden has ended public financing for fossil fuels abroad, but research carried out by the group of NGOs has shown that US investors still account for 58 per cent of all institutional investments in the global coal industry.
Paddy McCully, Climate and Energy Program Director at Rainforest Action Network, said: “The new administration must also address the role of Wall Street as a huge driver of climate pollution around the world. Its massive investments in the coal industry are driving us ever deeper into a climate crisis.”