Around 40% of the world’s coal is bought and sold in Switzerland, according to a study. Swiss banks are among the top lenders to the coal business.
This year, coal production should exceed eight billion tonnes worldwide, an all-time high, according to forecasts by the International Energy Agency (IEA). Coal is produced mainly in China, India, Indonesia and the United States.
Switzerland is a major hub for coal trading with Swiss-based companies overseeing 40% of world trade, reveals a report published by Swiss NGO Public Eye.
It shows that Switzerland has 245 companies active in the trading and extraction of coal. These firms are mainly based in cantons Geneva (78), Ticino (55) and Zug (54). The remaining 58 companies are spread across the country.
Mining companies, which have either a headquarters or a trading arm in Switzerland, extract a total of 536 million tonnes of coal a year. These include global players like Glencore.
The extraction, transport and transformation of coal into electric power result in around 5.4 billion tonnes of CO2 emitted annually, the report said.