Dutch SRI-focused asset manager Actiam has announced it is excluding coal mining companies from all its portfolios and index funds, effective immediately.
The manager wants its portfolios to be in line with the Paris Climate Agreement signed by 195 countries during the COP21 in December 2015.
The countries have agreed to limit the average temperature rise to 2 degrees Celsius, to prevent catastrophic consequences of climate change.
Actiam made the announcement of the exclusion policy from Spitsbergen – in the area of Svalbard islands half way between Norway and the North Pole – where it takes part to the Two Degrees expedition of climate journalist and Arctic explorer Bernice Notenboom.
Concretely, Actiam will cease investing in companies that derive more than 15% of their revenue from coal mining by tightening its responsible investment policy.
The manager seeks to motivate the remaining companies, which derive less than 15% of their revenue from coal mining, to contribute to the necessary energy transition.
Hans van Houwelingen, CEO of Actiam, said: “We are here in the Arctic with other influential Dutch companies, to increase awareness of climate change and to work towards specific commitments to take action against this global problem.
“We want to show the corporate world that energy transition is both necessary and urgent. Due to our responsible investment focus (ESG), our participation in coal companies was already limited. By further excluding coal mining companies, we wanted to strengthen our responsible investment policy and demonstrate our commitment to the Paris Agreement.”
Acitam said Arctic explorer Notenboom is exploring a part of the North Pole for which that may be the last year she could do so because this part is expected to be ice free this summer for the first time in 10,000 years.
Van Houwelingen added: “We support the Two Degrees expedition because we want to show the urgency and size of the problem. The North pole is the epitome of climate change. The ice coverage has shown new lows in the last few years and the temperature in the Arctic is rising much faster than in many other areas.
“That causes changes in weather patterns and the rise in sea levels. That is a big risk, especially for a low-lying country like the Netherlands. We have to take action now to avoid catastrophic climate change.”
Actiam had €54.6bn in assets under management as of end-December 2016.