Dutch pension fund PME says it has sold fossil fuel investments

AMSTERDAM, Sept 3 (Reuters) - Dutch pension fund PME said on Friday it had sold all its investments in fossil fuels over the past several months, the first large Dutch fund to do so.

With around 61 billion euros in assets, PME represents some 166,000 workers in the metal working and industrial technology sectors, including workers at semiconductor equipment manufacturer ASML, the Netherlands' largest industrial company.

PME did not disclose how much investment it had in the sector, but noted it had been reducing exposure for several years and this was a relatively small step. Dutch newspaper Het Financieele Dagblad estimated sales at around 1.2 billion euros.

"The consequences of climate change are playing out in front of our eyes at this very moment," Eric Uijen, chairman of the fund's executive committee, said in a statement.

"We intend to invest more in sectors that will make the energy transition possible, such as grid management and energy storage."

The largest Dutch pension fund, ABP, with 509 billion euros in assets, said in June that directly exiting fossil fuel investments would not be a solution to environmental concerns.

After protests by members, ABP chairwoman Corien Wortmann-Kool promised the fund would be "more ambitious" in its environmental investment policies but stopped short of any specific promises. read more

Reporting by Toby Sterling; editing by David Evans

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