Thirty institutional investor members of the United Nations' Net-Zero Asset Owner Alliance have called on their portfolio companies to cancel new thermal coal projects.
The investors, which have $5 trillion in total assets, also want companies to stop using coal-fired electricity and stop plans to develop new coal plants.
In a position paper published Friday, Thermal Coal Position, the alliance said all companies in member investors' portfolios should develop their own decarbonization pathways by stopping the financing, insuring and development planning of any thermal coal power plants. The companies should cancel new projects such as thermal coal plants, coal mines and related infrastructure, which supply products or services to thermal coal-based projects.
Companies are also expected to phase out of all unabated coal-fired electricity generation in line with targets to limit global temperature increases to 1.5 degrees Celsius.
"Participation in activities and projects that are not aligned with these principles is incongruent with our net-zero goals and the aspirations we have in respect to the different decarbonization strategies of the companies we invest in," the alliance said in the position paper.
Members could over time divest companies that are irresponsive to their expectations.
The alliance also wants governments to focus on clean energy technologies in both developed and emerging economies, while supporting workers impacted by energy transition.
"Together, investors, governments and companies all have a responsibility to act on global emissions reduction. Additional thermal coal developments for energy generation are ultimately irreconcilable with the exercise of this responsibility," the alliance said.