Coal crash: How pension funds face huge risk from climate change

The Guardian reports: The pension funds of millions of people across the world, including teachers, public sector workers, health staff and academics in the UK and US, are heavily exposed to the plummeting coal sector, a Guardian analysis has revealed.

It has also found that just a dozen people, including the owner of Chelsea FC, Roman Abramovich, own coal reserves equivalent to the annual carbon emissions of China, the world’s biggest polluter. The UN, which advocates a shift to clean energy, has more than $100m (£65m) invested in coal through its own pension fund.

The Guardian examined the ownership of the biggest 50 publicly traded coal companies, ranked by the reserves held which in total are equivalent to more than 11 years of global emissions. This alone could push the planet past beyond the 2C of climate change deemed dangerous by the world’s governments.

A fast-growing, global fossil fuel divestment movement, backed by the Guardian’s Keep it in the Ground campaign, is having particular success in persuading investors to dump coal stocks. The world’s largest sovereign wealth fund, held by Norway, decided earlier this month to sell off more than $8bn of coal assets. [Continue reading…]

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