This week Deka Invest and Union Investment, two of the four main German asset managers, published new coal policies. If these policies are far from the European best practices, they set a precedent for the German market. Coming from their two main competitors on this national market, these announcements won’t stay unnoticed by asset managers of the Deutsche Bank – DWS – and Allianz Global Investors.
Deka Investment – asset manager from the municipal savings bank Sparkassen – will divest from corporations that derive at least 30% of their revenues from coal mining or 40% of their power production from coal.
Union Investment – Volksbanken’s asset manager – will divest from corporations that derive more than 5% of their revenues from coal mining and commit to reduce its exposure to coal mining to zero by 2025. Regarding power generation, Union Investment is analyzing the phase out plans of firms that derive more than 25% of their revenues from coal and committed to divest from the ones that wouldn’t adopt a robust – according to its own evaluation – climate strategy in the coming year. Union Investment intends to reduce its exposure to coal to zero by 2035.
Union’s policy stands out in the landscape of German financial policies. However, the major loophole of both announcements is that Deka and Union won’t divest from RWE. When Deka uses an exemption clause, Union hides behind RWE’s carbon neutrality commitment to avoid taking action.