Coal Industry Outperforms Overall Energy Sector Despite ESG Embargo

April 13th, 2023 2:46 PM

Despite being shunned by fund managers trying to advance liberal ESG (environmental, social and governance) ideology, coal industry stocks have been outperforming both the overall market and those of other forms of energy, a new analysis reveals.

“The Zacks Coal industry stocks staged a rebound in 2022 courtesy of global demand and surging natural gas prices,” Yahoo! Finance reports in an April 6 article analyzing the performance of an 11-stock group of companies engaged in the discovery and mining of coal.

Through March of 2023, the composite value of the Zacks Coal industry stock group rose 8.4% over the previous 12 months, outperforming both the Zacks S&P 500 composite (down 9.9%) and the Zacks Oil and Gas sector (up 0.9%).

Rising export volumes are helping to drive the coal market, due to increasing demand from foreign countries, particularly in the Asian market, and the impact of the Russia-Ukraine war.

What’s more, “Coal is still a viable energy option for many crucial industries across the globe,” according to the analysis.

Meanwhile, investment in ESG exchange-traded-funds is shrinking, a global 2023 outlook analysis by Bloomberg notes:

“The global appetite for ESG ETFs (those incorporating ESG, sustainable or climate themes in their objectives) is in the midst of a two-year decline.”


“Greenwashing, energy security and geopolitical concerns raised questions about ESG’s efficacy, leading to a two-year decline in net inflows.”

The contraction of ESG has continued in 2023, as investors pulled a one-month record $5.7 billion from U.S. ESG ETF’s in March, Barron’s reported in an April 3 article:

“March was a brutal month for ESG exchange-traded funds as U.S. investors yanked out money at the fastest pace on record."

Editor's Note: This piece was originally published on