Urgewald’s Global Coal Exit List (GCEL) is a powerful information tool and has played an influential role in shaping new policies by financial institutions on coal.
The value of the GCEL is that it makes all companies operating along the thermal coal value chain visible to the financial sector. It clearly identifies which companies are still developing new coal assets and offers reliable and transparent data with which financial institutions can phase out coal-based business from their portfolios.
Over 400 financial institutions are now registered users of the GCEL, but the database has also become an important tool for civil society organizations, media, researchers and even regulatory bodies. In 2020, the French financial regulatory authorities AMF and ACPR used the Global Coal Exit List to calculate the exposure of French financial institutions to the coal industry. The GCEL has thus opened up new space for a dialogue on the policies needed to hasten financial actors’ exit from the coal industry. As of November 2020, institutions with over US$ 14 trillion assets under management are already using one or more of the three GCEL criteria to screen coal companies out of their portfolios.
What Makes the GCEL unique?
The GCEL includes the entire thermal coal value chain in its data sets. Whilst many other data providers limit their coal share of revenue calculations to sales of coal or sales of coal-based electricity, the GCEL also assesses the coal-related revenue streams of coal transport & logistics companies, coal plant manufacturers, providers of EPC services to the coal industry, coal-to-gas producers etc. Our approach provides a much more accurate picture of companies’ dependence on coal-related business and therefore also of the resulting financial risks for investors.
The GCEL is publicly available and not hidden behind a pay wall. It can be reviewed by companies as well as by civil society organizations, journalists and academics. Our database is completely transparent and this makes it more accountable and less mistake-prone as companies have the possibility to point out errors.
The GCEL is a forward-looking coal divestment tool. It identifies which companies are expanding their coal mining activities, developing new coal power plants or building other coal-related infrastructure, such as coal export terminals or coal railway lines.
Unlike most commercial coal databases, the GCEL also provides data on many private companies that is otherwise hard to access. This information is especially relevant for banks and insurers.