Climate change causes

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Coal projects face higher investor hurdles as climate risks mount

smoke billowing out from a coal-fired power plant
A coal-fired power plant in Hamburg, Germany. Photo: Markus Scholz/picture alliance via Getty Images

The growing risks associated with financing new coal projects have driven European and American institutional investors to seek returns up to 4 times greater than those for other sources of energy, according to a survey by the Oxford Institute for Energy Studies.

Why it matters: The cost of capital is a key determinant of whether new coal plants will be built. If costs rise relative to those of competing sources, the construction, expansion and even ongoing operation of coal plants could become prohibitively expensive.

The world goes the wrong way on carbon emissions

Data: BP Statistical Review of World Energy, 2019; Chart: Axios Visuals