Big Australian pension fund offloads coal investments.

FT: “One of Australia’s biggest public sector pension funds is to sell its holdings in coal companies, saying that climate change is an “unarguable scientific reality” and a “very real investment risk”.”
“Local Government Super (LGS) is the first major pension fund to divest from coal in Australia, where a bitter debate over the future of the commodity is unfolding between environmental campaigners and industry.
.“Governments around the world have begun to act on climate change, which is having a negative impact on future outlook for the coal industry,” said Peter Lambert, LGS chief executive.
….LGS, which manages A$8bn assets, said it planned to sell A$25m shares in companies that make more than a third of their revenues from coal mining or coal-fired electricity generation.
This will include holdings in Whitehaven Coal and AGL Energy. LGS said the decision was “largely economic” and it would support environmentally friendly alternatives such as renewables and nuclear energy.
….Last week Australia National University said it would divest A$16m shares in seven fossil fuel companies including Newcrest Mining, Iluka Resources, Oil Search and Santos. Last month Hesta, a super fund for health and community services with A$29bn in assets, said it would begin restricting new investments in thermal coal companies.
….Last week George Christensen, a government backbench MP, said the greatest terrorist threat posed to his home state of Queensland was the green movement. He said well funded “eco-terrorists” were attempting to close down the coal industry.
In August, Paul Flynn, Whitehaven chief executive, labelled the divestment campaign was “green imperialism at its worst”.
The Minerals Council of Australia published a report this week that claimed “socially responsible investment” funds accounted for a small share of the pensions industry and tended to underperform conventional options.