L&G investment business to sell Glencore stake over thermal coal

(Image Image of Newlands Coal Complex, courtesy of Glencore)

Legal & General’s investment management unit said on Wednesday that it is selling its stake in global commodities trader Glencore this year on concerns over its production of thermal coal.

Legal & General Investment Management (LGIM) is also selling its stake in New York-listed retailer TJX, it said, raising the number of divestments under its Climate Impact Pledge to 16, across funds covering around 176 billion pounds ($223 billion) in assets under management.

Glencore and TJX declined to comment.

“While divestment is one of the many stewardship tools we use as a mechanism for driving change, we see it as a last resort and by no means the last stage of engagement,” said Stephen Beer, LGIM senior manager for sustainability and responsible investment.

UK-based LGIM said that its decision on Glencore followed a shareholder resolution last year requesting the miner to disclose how its thermal coal production aligns with the Paris Agreement’s objective to limit the global temperature increase to 1.5 degrees Celsius.

Glencore mines and trades thermal coal, which is a major contributor to greenhouse gas emissions. It also has coking coal assets. It plans to run down its thermal coal mines by the mid-2040s, closing at least 12 by 2035.

LGIM has a 0.44% stake in Glencore, LSEG data shows.

“We remain concerned that Glencore does not meet our red line asking mining companies to disclose whether they plan to increase thermal coal capacity,” LGIM said.

Environmental, social and governance (ESG) investing boomed in 2020 and 2021 during the Covid-19 pandemic as low oil prices spurred more investors to diversify beyond fossil fuels, and as fund managers sought to be more climate-conscious.

Through its Climate Impact Pledge, LGIM assesses more than 5,000 companies across 20 ‘climate-critical’ sectors. It has previously highlighted concerns about climate risk management with Woodside Energy and Nippon Steel.

($1 = 0.7907 pounds)

(By Echha Jain and Yadarisa Shabong; Editing by Savio D’Souza, Sonia Cheema, Emelia Sithole-Matarise and Alexander Smith)


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