South Korea pension fund to consider climate change in management work

Vehicles move on a road on a polluted day in Seoul
Vehicles move on a road on a polluted day in Seoul, South Korea, March 12, 2019. Picture taken on March 12, 2019. REUTERS/Kim Hong-ji

SEOUL, March 7 (Reuters) - South Korea's national pension fund will consider climate change as part of its stewardship activities going forward, the welfare ministry said on Tuesday.

A panel that oversees the National Pension Service's (NPS) fund management policies decided to add climate change, along with industrial accidents, to its list of focus areas for responsible investment activities, the ministry said in a statement.

Until now, the world's third-largest public pension fund engaged with companies focusing primarily on matters related to corporate governance, such as dividend policy, remuneration caps for directors and violation of rules and regulations.

"Now there exists a framework for the pension fund to get involved in companies' climate change responses, and it will have to be monitored whether the fund carries out responsible investment activities based on the framework going forward," said Han Soo-youn, climate finance lead at Solutions for Our Climate, a Seoul-based advocacy group.

The NPS made a declaration in May 2021 that it would limit investing in industries related to coal mining and coal-fired power to join global efforts to reduce carbon emissions, but there is no guideline that restricts the investment yet.

Reporting by Jihoon Lee; editing by Christian Schmollinger and Tomasz Janowski

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