Axa IM calls on funds to divest coal investments

Axa Investment Managers is pulling millions of euros from equity and bond investments related to coal and has called on the asset management industry to do the same.

The firm said it would divest from companies that derive more than 50% of their revenues from coal-related activities.

The firm’s plan is effective from the end of June 2017 and it will apply to €714 billion (99.5%) of assets under management – excluding any fund-of-funds and index funds – and entails divesting about €165 million of fixed income portfolios and €12 million of equities portfolios.

Andrea Rossi, CEO of Axa IM, said the firm believed that divesting from coal could help to de-risk portfolios over the long term by decreasing exposure to assets that are likely to become ‘stranded’ in the future as the world takes greater action on climate change.

He said asset managers had an important role to play in helping the global transition to a low carbon economy.

“We want to engage with our clients, increasing awareness about the potential long-term risks related to the production and consumption of coal at current levels and encouraging investors to fully consider the long-term benefits of low carbon portfolios,” Rossi said.

Matt Christensen, global head of responsible investment at Axa IM, added: “We believe that following COP21, the ratification of the Paris Agreement and growing momentum for fossil fuel divestment globally, now is the right time for Axa IM to make this move sending a strong message to the rest of our industry.”

Axa IM’s parent, Axa Group, announced its €500 million divestment from coal in May 2015.

The same year Britsh insurer Aviva threatened to sell shares in 40 coal companies unless they proved their seriousness about tackling climate change.

©2017 funds europe

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