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Activists are asking bondholders to stop financing Adani’s coal empire

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An activist group is asking bond investors to stop funding the Adani Group unless the beleaguered Indian conglomerate “unambiguously halts its coal expansion” and approves a plan to cut carbon emissions.

In October, billionaire Gautam Adani’s group planned to raise at least $10 billion in new debt by 2023 to help refinance expensive loans and fund pipeline projects, Bloomberg reported in October. But the debt has come under intense scrutiny following a report from short seller Hindenburg Research, which draws investors’ attention to a range of bond interest rates in the coming months.

Adani Group did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

SumOfUs, an advocacy group that conducts digital campaigns to pressure powerful companies, sent a letter to executives from some of the largest bond buyers — including BlackRock Inc., Pacific Investment Management Co. and Invesco Ltd. – urging them not to participate in new group bond deals and to divest from Adani businesses. Adani’s empire, built largely on coal mining, “is at the cost of human rights violations and environmental destruction,” they said.

“The interconnected financial nature of the Adani Group makes it clear that buying debt from an Adani subsidiary is an extension of supporting Adani’s mining operations,” the activist group said in a letter signed by Nick Haines, a campaign manager. at SumOfUs.

Built on a boulder, Adani’s extensive group remains at the center of his business. But the billionaire wants to transform the empire into a renewable energy giant. The conglomerate has pledged to invest a total of $70 billion in its green energy value chain by 2030 to become the world’s largest producer of renewable energy.

Adani Group’s loan plans include the issuance of green bonds, the proceeds of which are used to finance environmentally friendly projects. Hindenburg’s findings undermine any confidence investors might have that the proceeds from the green deal are “adequately shielded,” Toxic Bonds said in the letter reviewed by Bloomberg.

SumOfUs is a member of the Toxic Bonds Initiative, a network of civil society organizations helping to track down and stop the trillions of dollars in risky debt financing the climate crisis.

It is “inconceivable” that major Adani bondholders would take on new debt from Adani, which has been shown to flout all three pillars of ESG with coal expansion, human rights violations and now fraud, said Alice Delemare, coordinator of the Toxic Bonds program. initiative, in an email response to questions on Monday.

According to the Toxic Bond Initiative, Adani’s $70 billion commitment doesn’t make sense when compared to Adani’s burgeoning coal business.

“Adani cannot claim to be committed to the transition while planning new coal mines and thermal energy projects,” they wrote.

This story was published from an agency news agency with no edits to the text.

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