Desjardins Vows to Sharply Cut Coal Investments to Aid Phase-Out

Desjardins Group, the largest financial co-operative in North America, said it will almost completely stop financing companies in the coal industry.

The Canadian co-op said it won’t provide investments, loans or underwriting for businesses that operate or develop coal mines, plants or infrastructure, according to a statement posted on Friday. It may still work with some businesses that are transitioning away from coal, in line with the Paris Agreement’s phase-out beginning in 2030, and currently use coal to produce no more than 10% of their power, Desjardins said.

In recent years, many European banks and money managers have announced plans to end financing or investments in coal, along with oil sands producers and Arctic drillers. In the Netherlands, Robeco said in September that it plans to bar investments in the most environmentally harmful fossil fuels from its mutual funds by the end of the year, one of the first money managers to do so.

The biggest U.S. banks including JPMorgan Chase & Co., Goldman Sachs Group Inc. and Bank of America Corp. have set some restrictions on coal investments but haven’t stopped participating in all coal deals.

Desjardins said that in May it had joined Powering Past Coal Alliance, a coalition of businesses pledging to stop financing coal power.

©2020 Bloomberg L.P.

BQ Install

Bloomberg Quint

Add BloombergQuint App to Home screen.