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Polish coal companies. Who insures? Who invests?

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Open Pension Funds (OFE) In Poland have not decreased their share in coal companies.
Key role of insurance companies in investment process.

The first report in Poland, shedding light on the insurers of the Polish coal industry and the coal energy company, has been delivered today. On January 31st 2018, an annual press conference in Warsaw took place, during which an analysis of the Open Pension Funds in Polish coal companies has been presented.
The data shown by the experts clearly imply the large extent to which Open Pension Funds in Poland support coal combustion, which is the main culprit of the disastrous quality of the air in Poland and the fatal smog episodes terrorizing us every winter. Out of eleven main funds on the Polish pension market, only Metlife has decreased their percentage share of coal companies’ assets in their portfolio, withdrawing over PLN 15 million from that sector. All the other Open Pension Funds have increased their investment levels.
Altogether, Open Pension Funds owned shares of Polish coal companies worth PLN 7.76 billion among their assets. Invariably, two foreign owners are leading, the Dutch Nationale Nederlanden (over PLN 2 billion) and the British Aviva (over PLN 1.7 billion). In the countries, in which a lot of coal-fired power plants are closed, supporting coal companies is going to get less and less socially acceptable every year.
Open Pension Funds are among the biggest shareholders of the coal companies planning the building of new coal energy plants or coal mines. At the end of 2017, Open Pension Funds owned altogether the following: 12.59% of PGE shares worth PLN 2.85 billion, 25.32% of ZE PAK shares worth PLN 193 million, 17.71% of ENEI shares worth PLN 912.5 million and 26.75% of shares of Famur, which produces mining equipment and machinery, worth PLN 932 million.

  Percentage of shares Amount in PLN
PGE 12.59% 2.85 billion
ZE PAK 25.32% 193 million
ENEA 17.71% 912.5 million
FAMUR 26.75% 932 million

In 2018, Poland is going to host the climate summit in Katowice – says Kuba Gogolewski from “RT-ON” Foundation – the world media are surely not going to miss the fact that instead of rapidly reducing the share in the coal companies assets, the largest insurers in Europe are unable to turn words into action and continue supporting the dirtiest of the fossil fuels with billions of zlotys – he adds.
– 8 out of 11 of companies managing money, which are supposed to ensure higher pensions to us, are at the same time insuring citizens and economic entities against various types of risks – Gogolewski emphasizes.
Jan Chudzyński has drawn attention to the fact that the third place, looking at the money invested in coal companies, is occupied by an Open Pension Fund owned by PZU, Złota Jesień. With 22 million customers and 35% market share, PZU is the biggest finance group in the Middle Europe and, due to such a strong position, a key institution for the Polish coal sector.
Getting an insurance is a necessary condition for the investment creation and functioning, and PZU currently insures coal mines delivering over 80% of coal mined in Poland and coal power plants generating about 30% of the power available in this country. What is more, PZU provides insurance protection to investments in new capacities, like Opole Power Plant, Kozienice (and the planned Ostrołęka C) – explains Jan Chudzyński, an independent finance expert.
The role of PZU in insuring companies from the Polish coal sector has been growing for two years now. By insuring Polish families and their health simultaneously with the Polish coal, PZU has been trying to eat a cake and have it – Chudzyński explains.
The World Health Organization estimates that air pollution in Poland generates external health costs amounting to $101.8 billion a year. The total investment spending to solve the problem of poor air quality amount to 80-250 billion Polish zlotys, depending on the target – sums up Łukasz Adamkiewisz, environmental health expert from Foundation #13.
Warsaw, January 31st 2018
The Foundation „Development YES – Open-Pit Mines NO” (abbreviated as „DY-OPMN”)
Kuba Gogolewski, tel. +48 661 862 611
Mateusz Jaworski, tel. +48 609 454 556
The Ecological Association EKO-UNIA 
www.eko-unia.org.pl, 50 -134 Wrocław, ul. Białoskórnicza 26
Joanna Kubicka, tel. +48 605 638989

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