London — The world’s war on coal is making its biggest producers a lot richer, at least for now. With governments from Asia to Europe setting stricter pollution limits as the climate change debate intensifies, output of the planet’s dirtiest fuel is dropping. Some of the more significant declines are occurring in China, the top mine operator, and financing for new supplies is drying up. That’s creating a windfall for the producers who remain. Anglo American, which not long ago wanted to unload its coal assets, has seen income from the business triple since 2015 to become the mining company’s most profitable commodity. In 2017, Glencore reported earnings from the fuel more than doubled, while BHP Billiton said it surged sixfold. Income for the 37 coal producers tracked in a Bloomberg Intelligence index was the highest in six years. "It’s a perverse consequence" of policies intended to combat climate change, said Julian Treger, co-founder of activist investor Audley Capital Advisors. ...

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