Dutch pension fund ABP cuts €5.3bn investments in fossil fuel companies

Dutch pension fund ABP has reduced its investments in the world’s biggest coal, oil and gas companies, including Shell, by €5.3bn in 2015, according to financial research led by sustainability think-tank Changerism.

The research relies on ABP’s holdings between September 2014 and September 2015.

The research showed the slump is due to plummeting share prices and the pension fund’s selling off investments in these companies.

The Dutch pension fund has massively reduced its holdings in fossil fuel companies such as Royal Dutch Shell (value of holdings down by 72%), Chevron (-75%), Total (-79%) and BP (-53%).

It has also entirely cut positions in 15 fossil fuel companies such as coal giant Peabody Energy.

Cindy Coltman, an activist of campaign group ABP Fossil Free, commented : “ABP seems to realise that fossil fuel companies are no longer financially sound investments but they are also morally unacceptable. It’s irresponsible to use savings that are supposed to provide us with a good future to support companies whose business plans will push us into irreversible climate chaos.”

“At least 80% of fossil fuel reserves need to remain underground to stand a chance of keeping global temperature rise below 2℃. It is good that ABP is starting to take action, but we call on ABP to pledge complete divestment,” she added.

Corien Wortmann-Kool, chairman of ABP’s board, said the reduced value in fossil fuel investments was primarily driven by the steep decline in commodity prices and the pension fund’s aim to shift its investments from fossil fuels to renewable energy.

Adrien Paredes-Vanheule
Adrien Paredes-Vanheule is deputy editor and French-Speaking Europe Correspondent for InvestmentEurope, covering France, Belgium, Geneva and Monaco. Prior to joining InvestmentEurope, he spent almost five years writing for various publications in Monaco, primarily as a criminal and financial court reporter. Before that, he worked for newspapers and radio stations in France, in particular in Lyon.

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