Wednesday, November 10, 2010

India's Coal Binge

It's being called a "$35-billion bankrolling of enhanced global warming by capital markets."  The 'It' is a prospectus from the Indian state owned coal company, Coal India, which is selling 10% of its shares on the domestic and foreign markets.  It's the largest ever initial public offering on the Indian stock exchange.  From The Guardian:

" Coal India's prospectus, crafted with the help of a clutch of big-name investment banks, did not mention climate change once in 510 pages of exhortation to invest.
And invest the fund managers did, unfettered by risk regulation or any meaningful requirement to place a value on the climate consequences of their scramble for short-term profit. The offering was oversubscribed 15 fold, and the stock soared on the first day of trading, 4 November, valuing Coal India at $49bn.

Those ending up owning stock include 484 foreign funds, 195 mutual funds, 44 insurance companies, and many banks. Many of these investors were using ordinary citizens' money, and this would have included the nest eggs of people worried about global warming and its dire impact on the world by the time they retire. But those people are mostly allowed no say in where their pension funds, insurance premiums, and banking deposits are invested."

The Coal India news comes hot on the heels of yesterday's warning by the OECD's International Energy Agency that the growing market for oil foreseen for the next twenty years will leave us utterly incapable of meeting the goal to restrict warming to 2 degrees Celsius.   In other words, we're stampeding ourselves full bore down the path to runaway global warming.

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