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Dutch metal workers pension funds divests from coal companies

Pensioenfonds van de Metalektro, The Hague, Netherlands, divested its holdings in coal companies.

The €46.4 billion ($55.4 billion) pension fund for metal workers said in a notice on its website that it no longer invests in producers of coal, a move that takes a new step in its sustainable and responsible investment policy.

The notice said high carbon dioxide emissions associated with coal and the need to make the energy supply more sustainable mean mining companies that focus solely on the fossil fuel "no longer have future-proof operations and therefore no longer fit into the investment portfolio of PME," said a translation of the notice.

The pension fund expects that, based on the Paris climate pact agreed to in 2015, coal eventually will be no longer be used as an energy source, making investments in coal producers "stranded assets."

A document of excluded companies for PME named 25 coal firms. The size of the divestment and reallocation of assets could not be learned by press time.

PME said it wants to reduce the carbon dioxide footprint of all its investments by 25% by 2021. The fund has an active dialogue with companies in the energy sector, with particular attention paid to the top 10 emitters of carbon dioxide and other climate-related risks. Companies that are not open to dialogue or do not make sufficient progress in their policy to reduce carbon dioxide emissions are moved to the exclusion list. The fund also excludes producers of tar sand oil and tobacco.

Also by 2021, PME wants 10% of its portfolio across all investment categories to contribute to achieving the United Nations' Sustainable Development Goals.

Spokesmen for the pension fund could not immediately be reached for comment.