Climate Systems ‘Breakdown’ Looms as Coal Investments Soar

(Bloomberg) -- The coal industry has backtracked on pledges to phase out existing plants and halt new investments, putting the planet on a trajectory that could lead to a “breakdown of our climate systems,” according to a study led by nonprofit Urgewald.

As warnings from climate scientists “become more and more dire,” data revealing the actions of coal companies “remains depressingly consistent,” said Heffa Schuecking, director of Urgewald. Almost half the coal industry is expanding, with China leading the way, according to the analysis published Thursday.

Nonprofits aren’t the only ones warning of the devastating fallout from continued expansion of the dirtiest fossil fuel. Goldman Sachs Group Inc’s Michele Della Vigna, who heads the Wall Street bank’s natural resources research for EMEA, has dubbed the surge in coal finance a “massive setback” for the climate, and warns that Europe’s reliance on both coal and even diesel may stretch past this winter.