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UK's largest pension fund to begin divesting from fossil fuels

"UK's biggest pension fund begins fossil fuels divestment", 29 July 2020

The UK’s biggest pension fund, the government-backed National Employment Savings Trust (Nest) scheme with nine million members, is to begin divesting from fossil fuels in what climate campaigners have hailed as a landmark move for the industry.

The fund will ban investments in any companies involved in coal mining, oil from tar sands and arctic drilling...

Nest, which handles much of the pensions of workers saving under the government’s “auto enrolment” scheme, will shift £5.5bn into “climate aware” investments as it anticipates a green economic recovery from coronavirus.

The ban will mean that some of the world’s biggest mining companies, such as BHP, can never be part of Nest’s share holdings, as long they derive profits from digging coal. It said it will sell its final holdings in BHP by 3 August.

Nest will also seek to reduce its carbon-intensive holdings..., while investing more money in renewable energy infrastructure...

Nest is hesitant about describing its new policy as a full divestment programme. It said it remained interested in oil companies that were transitioning from carbon-based fuels to green energy and renewable technology...

Campaigners welcomed Nest’s new climate policy and said it was likely to prompt better behaviour at other funds...