Investors press Brussels to abandon coal-generated electricity

Water vapor rises from the lignite-fired power station Boxberg of the energy company LEAG in Boxberg, Germany, 30 October 2017. The UN Climate Change Conference COP23 will take place in Bonn from 06 to 17 November 2017, only a few kilometers away from Europe's largest carbon dioxide source, the Rhenish Brown Coal Field. EPA-EFE/FILIP SINGER

Investors press Brussels to abandon coal-generated electricity


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A group of 95 Institutional Investors group overseeing more than €10 trillion in assets are calling for an end to the use of coal in Europe and industrialised nations by 2030.

The letter was also sent to Eurelectric, the association representing the European power industry.

Investors are demanding from Centrica, the UK’s National Grid, France’s EDF, Spain’s Iberdrola, and Germany’s RWE to set strict timelines for the elimination of coal-fired power generation. “We require power companies — including power generators, grid operators and distributors — to plan for their future in a net-zero carbon economy,” the letter reads.

Investors include Schroders, Legal & General Investment Management, Standard Life Aberdeen and Fidelity International, and two Californian US pension funds (Clapers and Calstrs). The group argues that addressing climate change is “vital to those with a fiduciary responsibility for other people’s long-term investments.”

The 2015 Paris Agreement set the objective of preventing the rise in global temperature beyond 2 degrees Celsius.

According to the group, the power sector accounts for 25% of global carbon emissions and will define the success or failure of the low-carbon transition. In 2017, coal maintained a 38% share of the global energy mix, with demand driven from China and Asia, according to the International Energy Agency.

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