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China’s Banks Are the Last Big Players in Coal Company Financing

Many of the world’s major financial institutions have gotten out of coal financing, but China’s still going strong

China is by far the world’s largest emitter of carbon dioxide, responsible for 31% of the global total in 2020, and more than twice that of the U.S., the second-biggest polluter.

China is by far the world’s largest emitter of carbon dioxide, responsible for 31% of the global total in 2020, and more than twice that of the U.S., the second-biggest polluter.

Photographer: Greg Baker/AFP/Getty Images

As the planet lurches toward catastrophic levels of warming, China’s biggest banks have been ratcheting up their financing of the dirtiest fossil fuel of all: coal.

Chinese lenders have helped coal companies raise about $10 billion selling bonds so far this year, data compiled by Bloomberg show. That’s more than double the $3.8 billion raised in the same period of 2021 and marks one of the busiest starts to a year since the Paris climate accord was struck in 2015.