We are facing twin crises: air pollution and climate breakdown, and the solution to both is absolutely clear: we need to close coal power plants and mines in Europe on a massive scale, and we need to do it by 2030 at the absolute latest.  

However, while the path we have to take is clear, most coal companies are pushing us down another one: building and expanding new plants and mines, and lobbying to slow down and block efforts to justly transition away from their dirty business model.

They want business as usual, but they cannot have it without finance, and they cannot have it without insurance. Financial institutions have a duty to make good investments, but they also have a duty to ensure what they finance and insure doesn’t harm people’s health, nor our collective future. By financing and insuring coal, companies such as BNP Paribas, Talanx, Intesa are failing on both counts.

It’s time to move these money men out of the shadows, and to move finance beyond coal.

Several European financiers and insurers have already started to move because of public outcry; and companies are increasingly struggling to secure both finance and insurance thanks to the efforts of people like you. Help us to push others to Unfriend Coal, and move beyond it once and for all.  

European coal financiers and insurers

Despite its image as a climate leader, BNP Paribas is blocking the transition out of coal through its financing of coal companies. Among its clients are the Czech utility CEZ and German lignite giant RWE. Both companies are expanding their coal mines, do not have phase out plans for their existing coal assets but are looking at maximizing the life of their plants. BNP Paribas ranks among the top Western financiers of the coal industry in Europe and internationally, including having provided 174 and 912 million euros of financing to CEZ and RWE since 2016.

Despite the adoption of recent coal policies, Swiss banks Crédit Suisse and UBS continue to heavily finance the German company RWE, with respectively 871 and 587 million euros financing to RWE since 2016. Having no real coal company exclusions at all, Italian bank Intesa SanPaolo and Spanish bank Banco Santander were involved earlier this year in a giant loan of 950 million euros to Europe biggest coal plant developer, the Polish company PGE.



The German group Talanx is the top underwriter of the Polish coal industry through its subsidiaries TuIR Warta and Hannover Re, and the last major European insurer with no restriction to coal coverage. Among the 17 coal deals contracted by TuIR Warta since 2013 are two of the most polluting European coal plants, Belchatow and Turow. These two are estimated to have caused 489 and 209 premature deaths each in 2016 alone.

The Austrian Uniqa and VIG appear to be scaling up their support for Polish coal as the big insurers pull out because of public pressure. Both are underwriting the construction of new coal units in Poland, and have recently bid to insure the planned Ostrołęka C coal plant. The plant owners want this plant to then operate until 2063. If this project goes ahead, it would be setting Poland up to fail on its Paris Agreement promises, or become a stranded asset with dire consequences for investors.



Contact the banks and insurers below and urge them to stop supporting coal!

Send emails to CEOs of the banks and insurers financing coal:

BNP Paribas,  Crédit Suisse, Intesa, Santander, Talanx, UBS, Uniqa and VIG are still financing and insuring coal. 

Fill in your contact details and click sign to send a letter to the CEOs of these banks and insurers. Your details will not be shared, sold, or reused outside of this action in accordance with our privacy policy.

End financial support for coal


Dear CEO

I’ve just found out that your institution continues to support coal projects or companies that are expanding coal operations in Europe and blocking the world’s transition away from coal. I am very concerned about the health impacts from burning coal, and the serious damage it is doing to our shared climate. It is distressing to know that instead of helping to phase out this damaging business as quickly as possible, you are supporting its continuation.

RWE in Germany and PGE in Poland, two of the companies which your financial institution is still supporting, emitted 111 and 68 tons of CO2 respectively in 2017 and they are estimated to be responsible for 3,060 premature deaths in 2016.

Banks, insurers and investors such as ABN Amro, Swiss Re and Allianz are now blacklisting coal projects and companies like RWE and PGE because of the adverse impacts they continue to have on the climate and public health. By continuing to support these companies and their projects, your financial institution is part of the problem rather than the solution.

I’m therefore asking you to commit to ending all your company’s support to the coal industry, in line with a full coal phase out by 2030 for OECD countries and by 2040 for the rest of the world. This means ending all support for new coal projects, as well as for companies which are expanding their activities in the coal sector or which don’t have a coal phase out plan aligned with the UN Paris Agreement climate goals.


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