Netherlands Metal Workers Pension Fund Pulls Investments in Coal

Fund says its producers have a grim future as society abandons the fuel as an energy source.

Pensioenfonds Van De Metalektro has chosen to stop investing in coal emissions companies.

The $55.4 billion Netherlands-based pension fund, which covers the retirement benefits for metal workers, said that coal-only companies no longer have “future-proof operations.” This led to the decision to exclude the stocks.

“That is why we ask companies in which we invest to actively contribute to a reduction in CO2 emissions and a cleaner energy supply,” said Eric Uijen, the chairman of the fund’s executive board, in a statement.

Basing its beliefs on the Paris Climate Agreement, the metal workers’ pension expects that coal will eventually stop being used as a means of energy. It called investments in coal producers “stranded assets” in a news release, where it added that it makes “no distinction” between metallurgical coal (which creates heat for steelmaking) and thermal coal (which generates electricity).

Metalektro plans to reduce the carbon footprint of all of its investments by 25% in 2021. It has been discussing its carbon dioxide stance with energy companies, particularly the top 10 carbon emitters, which exclude Exxon Mobil and Royal Dutch Shell. If the companies will not talk with the fund or do not meet its reduction requirements, they are placed on the fund’s exclusion list.

The fund also requires 10% of its portfolio across all asset classes to contribute to meeting the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals code. Pensioenfonds Van De Metalektro also does not invest in tar sand oil or tobacco.

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