International savings and investment company M&G announced today plans to exit thermal coal investments, setting targets including ending all investment in new coal mines and coal-fired plants and to excluding public companies which cannot commit to a complete phase out of coal by 2030 in developed countries and 2040 in emerging markets.  

According to M&G, the new commitment to exit coal is a key step towards achieving the company’s goal of achieving net zero carbon emissions across its investment portfolios by 2050 at the latest, and helping to restrict global warming to 1.5 degrees in line with the Paris Agreement on climate change.

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M&G stated that it will be implementing this approach to coal-related investments across its own internal portfolios over the coming year, and will work with clients to align existing mandates and funds to this position. M&G also gives institutional clients and individual customers the opportunity to invest in technologies, infrastructure and services which offer financial returns as well as making a positive difference to the environment through its range of sustainable investment funds.

M&G’s initiative follows similar moves by other investors and companies to distance themselves from thermal coal and other fossil fuel sectors with poor sustainability profiles. Recently, industrial giant GE announced that it will exit the new build coal power market, and several prominent investorspension funds and investment banks have announced similar policies.

In addition to its plans to exit coal investments, M&G also announced that it is joining the Powering Past Coal Alliance (PPCA), a coalition of governments, businesses and organisations working to advance the transition from coal power generation to clean energy.

M&G plc Chief Executive, John Foley, said:

“An accelerated phase-out of coal is essential if we want to limit global warming and ensure a sustainable future for our planet. We are delighted to join the PPCA and fully support its work to encourage businesses, governments and other organisations to commit to a transition away from coal in the run up to COP26 later this year.”

Nigel Topping, COP 26 High Level Climate Champion, said:

“Phasing out thermal coal is a critical early step on the race to net zero. PPCA is a key part of the COP 26 Energy Transition Campaign, and it is fantastic to see M&G making this commitment in response to attending the PPCA ministerial round table co-hosted by the UK and Canada.”