First State Super to divest coal holdings from October 2020

First State Super (soon to be rebranded Aware Super following its merger with VicSuper) will divest its thermal coal holdings and has pledged to reduce emissions in its listed equities portfolio by at least 30 per cent by 2023.

First State Super will sell holdings in businesses which derive more than 10 per cent of their revenue from thermal coal mining from October 2020.

First State Super's Australian equity portfolio has holdings in big mining names BHP, Newcrest, Rio Tinto and Woodside, according to Rainmaker Information. Some of these miners themselves, such as Rio Tinto, have already divested from thermal coal or are in the process of doing so, like BHP.

First State Super will also actively advocate for an economy-wide 45 per cent reduction in greenhouse gas emissions by 2030 and is looking to replicate this in its portfolio in the same time frame.

‘Some of these targets are ambitious but we need ambition and aspiration across our fund, sector and economy if we are to limit the increase in global average temperature to below 2 degrees, in-line with the Paris Agreement,’ First State Super chief executive officer, Deanne Stewart, said.

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