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July 10, 2020

First State Super to ditch thermal coal holdings

Australian superannuation fund First State Super plans to divest from thermal coal by October this year to address climate change risks.

The firm will ditch businesses that get over 10% of their revenue from thermal coal.

It intends to lower emissions in its listed equities portfolio by 30% by 2023.

At the same time, it looks to support a 45% reduction in greenhouse gas emissions by 2030.

Other plans in the pipeline include investments in renewable energy and new technologies.

First State Super CEO Deanne Stewart said: “It is essential that as a responsible owner super funds set strong, ambitious and transparent targets to deliver the kind of action we need now to prepare for a more prosperous and sustainable future.

“We have seen over the past 10 years significant volatility in value of thermal coal miners, and increasingly insurance companies are signally their intent to exit this sector in response to medium-term climate-related risks.”

“Divestment from thermal coal mining is an important first step, but we recognise there is more to do; which is why we have committed to bold actions and real targets to shift the dial on climate change which will assist us to continue to deliver strong sustainable long-term returns to our members,” Stewart added.

Several financial firms have recently gone green. They include private bank Coutts, which eyes a 25% reduction in carbon emissions in its funds and portfolios by the end of next year.

Pictet too recently ended its exposure to fossil fuel.



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