Allianz to slash investment in coal companies

24 November 2015 (Last Updated November 24th, 2015 18:30)

Financial services firm Allianz has announced that it is to slash investment in coal companies over the next six months.

Excavator In Coals

Financial services firm Allianz has announced that it is to slash investment in coal companies over the next six months.

Allianz CEO Oliver Bäte said in a statement: "It will no longer invest in companies that derive more than 30% of revenue from coal mining or generate over 30% of their energy from coal."

The company's latest move comes ahead of the United Nations climate change conference in France next week.

The decision will affect around €4bn in investment.

Environmental activist group 350.org Europe campaigner Nicolò Wojewoda told AP: "As the world's largest insurance company, Allianz knows a thing or two about risk, and there's no greater risk for the climate than continuing to invest in an industry that is wrecking the planet.

"The decision will affect around €4bn in investment."

"Divestment from coal is a heartening first step; ultimately, however, 80% of all fossil fuel reserves need to stay in the ground to avoid dangerous and irreversible climate change."

The group said that more than 400 institutions managing $2.6tn had made commitment to cut their coal investment as of September 2015 and the number will increase to 500, including other investors such as the Norwegian Sovereign Wealth Fund.

Allianz will release its divestment plan in more detail later this week.

In May 2015, French bank Credit Agricole said it will stop financing coal mining projects or companies due to environmental concerns.

The company decided to withdraw funding the controversial mountaintop removal (MTR) technique that uses explosives to expose coal seams.


Image: Allianz's decision to pull the plug on investments in coal companies is estimated to result in a shift of €4bn. Photo: courtesy of dan/FreeDigitalPhotos.net.