$110 billion of coal plants owned by listed Asian utilities could become uneconomic as the world takes action to meet climate targets, and more than half the risk is concentrated in 10 companies

Taking Stock of Coal Risks finds that worldwide $220 billion of investment in coal plants could be stranded if the world takes action to achieve the temperature goals set out in the Paris Agreement.

The report warns investors that listed companies still planning to build new coal capacity are making “a very risky bet”. Growing competition from low-cost renewables and carbon pricing mean they are unlikely to generate a return over their lifetime and countries’ net zero commitments may drive early closures.

Stranding risk is most prevalent on Asian stock exchanges, which account for almost $110 bn or 90% of the total.

Figure 1: Stranded asset risk by stock exchange ($bn): Mainly concentrated in Asia

NTPC in India, whose main shareholder is the Indian government, but which also has several institutional holders, is the single most exposed company to asset stranding with $19 bn or 16% of the total.

Figure 2: Top 10 listed companies stranding risk: NTPC stranding risk is large vs. others