News / 1 May 2019

ABP still on collision course with Paris climate goals

Amsterdam 1 May 2019 - Dutch pension fund ABP's 'sustainable and responsible investment report’ today suggests that the pension fund is well on track in terms attaining its internal sustainability goals.  However, an analysis by Fossielvrij NL, Both ENDS, urgewald and Greenpeace shows that ABP remains on a collision course with the Paris climate goals. At the end of 2018, ABP still invested 16.5 billion Euros in the fossil industry. ABP's investments in the world's 44 largest climate polluters even increased between 2016 and 2018. 

 "With these investments, ABP's investment policy is anything but sustainable or responsible. The fossil fuel industry is at the heart of the climate crisis: by continuing to invest in new coal-fired power stations, oil fields and pipelines, large oil, coal and gas companies are putting the viability of the planet at risk for their short-term profits," says Liset Meddens of Fossielvrij NL. "While the effects of climate change are already being felt on a large scale, ABP continues to use public money to drive climate disruption. That’s just not acceptable anymore."

Russian run on the North Pole

ABP doubled its investments in Russia’s Gazprom in 2018 and tripled its stake in Russian oil and gas giant Rosneft. These companies have the largest oil and gas reserves in the world. Kees Kodde of Greenpeace: "These are the largest companies that drill for oil and gas in the vulnerable Arctic region. With our pension money, ABP is contributing to the derailment of the climate crisis and the destruction of the vulnerable Arctic. On an uninhabitable planet, our pensions are worthless."

More investments in the biggest polluters

ABP invests in all the listed companies that have contributed most to climate change in the last century. ABP's investments in these 44 companies have increased even further in two years: from 5.1 billion euros in December 2016 to 5.5 billion euros in December 2018.

 A growing number of ABP pension participants are concerned about this development and are expressing their views. Derk Loorbach, Professor of Transition Management and Director of Drift at Erasmus University, said: "These results show a worrying picture: it is clear that ABP is not actively engaged in the transition to a sustainable economy with my pension savings. ABP's investments in the fossil industry are diametrically opposed to the goals of the Paris Agreement."

Reduce new fossil fuel investments

A recent study by Global Witness shows that the exploitation of new oil and gas fields is not compatible with keeping the climate goals of the Paris Agreement achievable. Nevertheless, the fossil fuel industry is planning to spend no less than 4.9 trillion dollars on researching and exploring new fossil fuel fields (source: Global Witness). 

Note: The original version of this press release stated that ABP invested 10 billion euros in the fossil fuel industry at the end of 2018. This was based on estimates, which we are forced to make because ABP is not transparent about all the companies in which they invest. The size of these fossil fuel investments has been adjusted to 16.5 billion based on the figures published in ABP's latest sustainable and responsible investment report. The table on page 34 of ABP's report shows that 64 percent of 25.9 billion euros is spent on oil, coal and gas.

More information:

ABPs fossil fuel investements as of December 2018 (Both ENDS)

Methodology ABP investments in fossil fuel companies 2018 (Both ENDS)

44 worst polluters  ABP (Greenpeace NL)


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