Storebrand says drops 10 coal firms from pension fund

BONN, Germany (Reuters) - Storebrand, Norway's largest private pension fund, said on Thursday it had dropped 10 coal companies including Germany's RWE AG RWEG.DE from its $80 billion (60.71 billion pounds) portfolio under tighter self-imposed guidelines on climate change.

Storebrand said the divestments, announced during negotiations among almost 200 nations on climate change in Germany, totalled 145.6 million Norwegian crowns (13.42 million pounds).

Storebrand said it had sold out of Eskom Holdings Ltd, Polska Grupa Energetyczna PGE.WA, Uniper SE UN01.DE, Genting International Plc, Tenaga Nasional Berhad, Kyushu Electric Power9508.T, Origin Energy Ltd ORG.AX, EDP Energias do Brasil ENBR3.SA, RWE AG RWEG.DE and Power Assets Holdings Ltd 0006.HK.

The new criteria included restricting investments in companies involved in the construction of new power plants.

“We see it as our responsibility to challenge the coal industry even further and pull our money out of ten more companies with sizeable new developments in coal-fired power plants,” Jan Erik Saugestad, CEO of Storebrand Asset Management, wrote of the decision.

“The 14,300 MW under construction by these companies exceeds the entire coal power capacity of the United Kingdom and Ireland, or more than the entire coal power capacity of Greece, the Netherlands, and France,” he said.

Storebrand said it began phasing out investments in coal companies in 2013, part of a divestment movement that says greenhouse gas emissions from burning coal are a major contributor to global warming.

Reporting By Alister Doyle, editing by David Evans