It’s good public relations, but is it good news? After having spent the past few years mopping up various coal mines, global commodities group Glencore has made a U-turn, announcing a cap on coal production and an effective bar on new production. The announcement was made last week by SA-born CEO Ivan Glasenberg, who is under pressure from major investors that want natural resource companies to start taking climate change seriously. Glasenberg now says the company will cap its production of both thermal and coking coal at about 150Mt a year, which is almost exactly its planned output level for this year. Glencore also ruled out further expansion of its coal business, except in situations where an existing joint-venture partner might want to exit the business. Also, the company will review its membership of trade associations that lobby for fossil fuels. It’s a big deal, partly because Glencore constitutes about 25% of the global seaborne coal trade, and coal now constitutes about a ...

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