Why GCEL is Special
Urgewald created the Global Coal Exit List to give financial institutions a tool to move coal out of their portfolios. GCEL covers the entire thermal coal value chain from coal exploration and mining, to coal power production and coal gasification. Today, it is the most comprehensive public database on the global coal industry.
GCEL currently has over 600 online users from the finance industry. It has helped shape the coal policies of many financial institutions across the globe. Urgewald uses 3 criteria to determine whether companies are placed on GCEL.
The database includes companies that:
- are expanding their coal business
- have a coal revenue or a coal share of power production of at least 10%
- have at least 5 GW of coal-fired capacity or 10 million tons of annual coal production
GCEL is updated annually. It currently lists over 1400 parent companies and over 1900 subsidiaries and joint ventures. These companies represent more than 90% of global thermal coal production and global coal-fired capacity. GCEL covers the whole coal universe.
What Makes GCEL Unique?
Most commercial data providers only consider revenue from coal sales or coal-based electricity. In contrast, GCEL also includes revenue streams from coal transport and logistics companies, coal plant manufacturers, providers of engineering, procurement, construction (EPC) services to the coal industry, coal-to-gas producers, and more. Urgewald’s research thus provides a much more accurate assessment of companies’ coal-related business.
GCEL is free, transparent and publicly available. All interested parties can access and use the database. And, we specifically invite companies to notify us of any errors they might find.
GCEL identifies companies that are still expanding their coal business. These are companies that are either developing new coal mines, or new coal power plants, or building new infrastructure such as coal export terminals or coal railroad lines.
In addition to researching publicly listed companies, Urgewald also researches private companies. Data on these companies is usually hard to find, but GCEL makes it accessible. This makes the database particularly relevant for banks and insurers.
GCEL Success Stories
Investors that collectively manage US$ 19 trillion in assets are already using GCEL to screen coal companies out of their portfolios. The Norwegian Government Pension Fund and the biggest insurance companies of Europe Allianz, AXA, and Generali were among the first users of GCEL. At present, more than 270 banks, pension funds, investors, asset managers, and insurance companies worldwide are using GCEL to screen their portfolios.
3 Use Cases by Financial Authorities
Financial agencies and regulatory authorities use GCEL to measure the exposure of financial institutions to the coal industry, to screen green funds for coal investments, and to identify coal financing.
The International Monetary Fund (IMF) regularly publishes a Global Financial Stability Report. In the latest update in April 2023, the IMF used GCEL to calculate global coal investments. Banque de France compared the carbon intensity of Socially Responsible Investment (SRI) funds, using GCEL as a resource. The central bank found that SRI funds have 35% less exposure to GCEL companies than non-certified funds. Since 2020, the French financial regulatory authorities AMF and ACPR have been using GCEL to undertake their annual assessment on climate targets. The assessment measures the exposure of all of France’s financial institutions to the coal industry.