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Metalworkers' scheme rejects carbon reduction target

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Dutch pension fund PMT does not intend to set a target for the reduction of carbon emissions from its equity holdings, going against a trend among the largest schemes in the Netherlands.

A spokesman for the €67bn pension fund for the metalworking and mechanical engineering industry explained that its investment policy was closely linked to its sector, with comprises 33,000 employers of predominantly production companies, but also garages and fitters.

“The industry is carbon-sensitive, with many firms emitting CO2 as well as using fossil fuels,” the spokesman said. “Our rank and file comprises of companies that are ahead in energy transition but also firms that are about to start a transition to low carbon management.”

Since 2015, civil service scheme ABP, healthcare pension fund PFZW, metal scheme PME, and BpfBOUW, the pension fund for the building sector, have decided to reduce carbon emissions in their portfolios by up to 50% by 2020.

PMT following a different policy than PME is unusual, as both metal schemes have outsourced their investments to MN, and have been hinting at a possible merger for several years.

PMT said it wanted to monitor carbon emissions closely, but preferred engagement with high emitters as a way to achieve reductions.

The pension fund explained that it favours an “inclusive energy transition”, which takes into account the effects on staff.

It added that it considered exclusion an ultimate remedy for companies that haven’t introduced a climate strategy within two years.

Recently, PME said it wanted to reduce carbon emissions by 25% through engagement with the 10 highest emitting companies in its portfolio.

If the dialogue fails, it could lead to exclusion of these firms as of next year, according to PME.

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