Germany’s Deutsche Bank has pulled out of coal investments, as part of its Paris Pledge for Action commitment.

“Deutsche Bank and its subsidiaries will not grant new financing for greenfield thermal coal mining and new coal-fired power plant construction,” says the bank in a statement.

“Moreover, the bank will gradually reduce its existing exposure to the thermal coal mining sector.”

The bank’s move comes days after the Irish Parliament voted in favour of dropping all coal, oil and gas investments from its €8bn sovereign wealth fund, putting it line to becomes the world’s first country to divest fully from fossil fuels. The Fossil Fuel Divestment Bill will now be reviewed by the country’s financial committee and is expected to pass into law in the next few months.

A study published in December last year by legal group Arabella Advisors, on the one-year anniversary of the Paris climate agreement, found that the value of investment funds committed to selling off fossil fuel assets doubled in just over a year to US$5.2tn.

The accord, which was signed by 192 countries, is the world’s first universal, legally binding climate deal. The Pledge for Action was a supporting pact made by non-party stakeholders including businesses, organisations, regions, cities and investors, to show their support for the agreement.

The report said to date 688 institutions and 58,399 individuals across 76 countries have committed to divest from fossil fuel companies, doubling the value of assets represented in the last 15 months.

“Pension funds and insurance companies now represent the largest sectors committing to divestment, reflecting increased financial and fiduciary risks of holding fossil fuels in a world committed to stay below 2° Celsius warming,” said the advisory in a statement.

The fossil divestment campaign started in 2011 when students from a handful of universities across the US called on their administrations to pull away from fossil fuels and invest in cleaner and more sustainable energy.

The divestment campaign gained steam and drew international supporters when the moral arguments of the students were coupled with the financial risks associated with investing in fossil fuels. A report published in the same year by London-based independent think tank Carbon Initiative called Unburnable Carbon highlighted that the viability of the fossil fuel industry is based on the assumption that the fossil fuel reserves held by companies can all be utilised. However, doing so would mean exceeding the carbon allocations agreed on to keep global warming below 2°C.

GTR wrote a detailed report on the campaign and its impact which can be read here.