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ESG

French fund to further curb investment in thermal coal companies

Caisse des Depots et Consignations, Paris, no longer will invest in companies deriving more than 10% of revenue from thermal coal, a spokesman of the investment arm of the French government said.

The new coal exclusion, effective Jan. 1, pertains to all asset classes and follows the 2015 Paris climate accord that is aimed at keeping global warming below 2 degrees Celsius, to which Caisse has committed. Starting in 2019, the sovereign investor will lower its turnover threshold to 10% from 20%, in keeping with its obligations under the UN accord.

"The group, which is a long-term asset owner, will encourage all portfolio companies that have a residual exposure to thermal coal to reduce this exposure," the spokesman said.

The French investor, which oversees €150 billion ($170 billion) in financial assets and savings owned by French state institutions, will apply the rule to new investments in private equity funds, too.