Hedge Funds: Chris Hohn Looks to End Coal Production as We Know It

March 2, 2020 | Hedge Funds, Latest News, News

Hedge fund billionaire Chris Hohn has launched a platform aimed at reducing financing for coal-fired power plants. The ESG crusader wants central banks to effectively stop the financing of coal power plants that he deems a threat to the global climate.

“Coal is the single largest source of greenhouse gas emissions globally and the risks of its continued use in the power sector are not being adequately addressed by regulators and the financial system,” Hohn said in a statement on behalf of the Children’s Investment Fund Foundation.

Chris Hohn Presses on Climate Change

Hohn sent the letter to a number of central bank leaders, including Bank of England Governor Mark Carney and European Central Bank President Christine Lagarde. He also sent the letters to the boards of Barclays (NYSE: BCS), HSBC (NYSE: HSBC) and Standard Chartered (OTCMKTS: SCBFF).

“Over the last three years alone, global financial institutions have channeled $745bn in new lending and underwriting to companies developing coal plants, and the UK and European banks remain counterparties for the financing of their existing and new projects,” the letter says.

In a letter to ECB officials, Hohn asked regulators to:

  1. Review and publicly disclose the appropriate risk-weighting of coal financing to recognize the high risk for European banks and their stakeholders inherent in funding coal power globally;
  2. Require European banks to publicly disclose their exposures to coal assets and financing, and the risk- weightings associated with these exposures, so that the market is able to properly assess risk and compliance with the communicated ESG policy.
  3. Exclude banks which have coal lending from central bank asset purchases and collateral frameworks, because of their elevated risk.

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