For a world without coal

© Suek
Coal is a source of energy that belongs in the past. It’s the most polluting substance on the planet and its significant negative externalities are rarely accounted for in its price per tonne. The construction of new power plants threatens to imprison emerging countries in a vicious circle for the long term. This observation, as well as measures that need to be put in place to finally decarbonise Switzerland’s financial hub, should not detract from efforts seeking to reduce the import and consumption of fossil fuels in Switzerland.

The coal industry

  • It should immediately cease extraction of the most polluting forms of coal, such as lignite.
  • Companies active in the extraction and trade of coal should present credible measures that are verifiable by independent parties, to achieve a complete exit from coal by 2030.

The Federal Council and Parliament

  • They should take action to end the trade with coal, the most polluting of fossile fuels, by 2030.
  • Switzerland should integrate, in the meantime, the indirect CO2 emissions generated by coal traders registered in the country in its climate objectives and policies.
  • They should introduce into Swiss law a requirement for transparency around contracts and payments to governments for coal trade, and for the rest of the commodities trade. The origin of commodities should be traceable.
  • Switzerland should set up an oversight body for the commodities sector that has the power to control companies, and sanction those breaking the law.

The world of finance

  • Financial institutions should stop loans to companies active in the coal sector that have not implemented a credible plan to exit coal by 2030, accompanied by appropriate measures that are verifiable by independent parties.
  • No new coal-fired power plants should be financed.
  • The Swiss National Bank should cease investments in all companies that produce or trade in coal.
  • Cantonal banks should commit to no longer providing funds to companies active in the coal sector, whether through transaction financing or corporate loans.

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