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Oxford University research finds Australian coal amongst riskiest in the world for investors

Michael Slezak reports in The Guardian (28.1.16) that Australian thermal coalmines are some of the riskiest in the world for investors because of their exposure to environmental dangers, according to a report from Oxford University.

‘The report – which was supported by Norges Bank Investment Management, managers of Norway’s government pension fund, the world’s largest sovereign wealth fund – also found that Australian, Chinese and US coal-fired power stations were the most vulnerable to environmental risks.

The researchers assessed the assets of the top 100 coal-fired utilities and top 20 thermal coalmining companies for their exposure to a range of environmental risks, including climate-change policies, water stress, air pollution and competition from renewables and gas.

Ben Caldecott , the lead author of the report, said its purpose was to provide information for investors, the broader public and the companies. … Caldecott said the findings meant investors should be very cautious about supporting projects associated with thermal coalmines in Australia, such as Adani’s Carmichael mega-mine and the Shenhua Watermark mine.

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