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 from its $80 billion 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, totaled 145.6 million Norwegian crowns ($17.69 million).

Storebrand said it had sold out of Eskom Holdings Ltd, Polska Grupa Energetyczna, Uniper SE, Genting International Plc, Tenaga Nasional Berhad, Kyushu Electric Power, Origin Energy Ltd, EDP Energias do Brasil, RWE AG and Power Assets Holdings Ltd.

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