The large Dutch metal pension scheme PME said it would cease investing in coal producers as it fears its holdings are to become stranded assets.

Eric Uijen, chairman of PME’s executive board, argued that the large carbon footprint of coal and social pressure for sustainable energy meant that mining companies solely focusing on coal did not have a future, and therefore no longer fit in its investment portfolio.

Citing the Paris climate agreement, the €47bn sector scheme for metalworking and electro-technical engineering said it expected coal would lose its role for energy generation as well as steel production.

The metal scheme has decided that the carbon footprint of its combined investments must have fallen by 25% in 2021.

As a consequence, it has started an active engagement with energy companies, focusing on the 10 worst carbon dioxide emitters and demanding they actively contribute to the energy transition.

Companies which avoid dialogue on the issue or make insufficient progress in reducing their carbon footprint would be excluded from investment.

PME also said that in 2021, 10% of all asset classes in its investment portfolio must contribute to achieving the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals.

Recently, it announced that it supported the resolution of pressure group Follow This – to be voted on at Shell’s AGM tomorrow, 22 May – calling on the energy company to set climate goals that are aligned with the goal of keeping global warming to well below 2°C. Follow This is said to expect around 10% of the vote to support the resolution, which is a modified version of a shareholder climate change motion at last year’s Shell AGM.

The metal scheme has already ceased investing in tar sands.