M&G pledges to end thermal coal investments

M&G, the UK-listed fund management group, will begin to phase out coal across its investments, making it the latest asset manager to commit to ending its investment in fossil fuels.

The asset manager, which oversees close to £340bn, said it will “use its influence to accelerate the transition to a greener, cleaner economy with ambitious plans to cease all investment in new coal mines and coal-fired plants”.

M&G, which aims to achieve net zero carbon emissions across all its investment portfolios by 2050, will exclude companies which cannot commit to a complete phase out of coal by 2030 in developed countries and 2040 in emerging markets.

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The asset manager will implement the approach to coal-related investments across its own internal portfolios this year. M&G will work with clients to align existing mandates and funds to extend the approach.

John Foley, chief executive of M&G, said: “An accelerated phase-out of coal is essential if we want to limit global warming and ensure a sustainable future for our planet.”

M&G was unable to provide a figure regarding the level of assets under management its decision would impact.

“Accurately understanding the level of assets under management is a work in progress that will take place over the next 12 months before the position is implemented,” a spokesperson told FN.

As part of its pledge, made ahead of the COP26 summit in November, M&G has joined the Powering Past Coal Alliance — a coalition of governments and organisations which seek to encourage the phase out of coal by 2050.

M&G joins other asset managers in the alliance including Aberdeen Standard Investments, Robeco, Schroders and Axa Investment Managers.

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Last year BlackRock, the world’s largest asset manager, pledged to cut its exposure to companies which generate revenues from thermal coal production.

BlackRock said it has achieved 100% ESG integration across its active fund management strategies, and where it has discretion, has completed the exclusion of equity and bond holdings in companies generating more than 25% of revenues from thermal coal production.

The US asset manager was recently singled out for having one of the largest exposures to the global coal industry, with $84bn invested across some of the world’s biggest polluters.

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