Investor blacklists Aussie coal miners

DUTCH investment giant Aegon is backing away from thermal coal investment.
Investor blacklists Aussie coal miners Investor blacklists Aussie coal miners Investor blacklists Aussie coal miners Investor blacklists Aussie coal miners Investor blacklists Aussie coal miners

Aegon will limit investment in thermal coal producers

Staff reporter

The company has implemented a new Responsible Investment Policy to ensure all new investments contribute to the acceleration of the transition towards a low-carbon economy.

As well as ceasing investment in companies that own more than 10 gigawatts of coal-fired power generation capacity, Aegon will not invest in companies that produce more than 20 million tonnes per annum of thermal coal and are expanding coal-related operations.

Aegon said the policy was regardless of revenue.

In 2016, it already excluded companies that derived more than 30% of revenue from thermal coal.

As of 2020, a declining revenue threshold has been introduced, which will be lowered in steps to 5% or below by 2029.

Australian producers Whitehaven Coal, Yancoal Australia, New Hope Corp (and its major shareholder Washington H Soul Pattinson & Co) and Stanmore Coal are on the exclusion list, as well as ASX-listed, African producers White Energy Co, Universal Coal and Ikwezi Mining.

Offshore-based Peabody Energy and Adani also made the list.

"As a major investor, we take our responsibility towards society, and we deliver on our promise of a secure and healthy financial future while caring about the environment," Aegon CEO Alex Wynaendts said.

Aegon is one of the world's leading providers of life insurance, pensions and asset management, with €804 billion worth of revenue-generating investments under management at the end of 2018.

Greenpeace Australia CEO David Ritter attributed Aegon's new policy to Australia's bushfires.

"The smart money is on getting out of coal and burning fossil fuels," he said.

"These are the main causes of climate change and that's why Aegon is making a wise move by limiting investments in this dirty power source."