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.
44 worst polluters ABP (Greenpeace NL)
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Pension funds have a lot of influence because of their enormous assets. Both ENDS therefore wants pension funds such as the Dutch ABP to withdraw their investments from the fossil industry and to invest sustainably instead.
Press release / 14 May 2017
The Dutch pension fund, ABP, invested about two billion euros more in the fossil energy industry at the end of 2016 than the year before. This is announced by the report "Dirty & Dangerous: the fossil fuel investments of Dutch pension fund ABP," published today by Both ENDS, German urgewald and Fossielvrij NL. The report criticizes these investments because of the impact on the climate and the catastrophic consequences for the people in the areas where coal, oil and gas are being produced.
Press release / 9 May 2018
New research by Both ENDS, Fossielvrij NL and urgewald shows that, in 2017, pension fund ABP invested 500 million euros more in coal, oil and gas than in the previous year – a total of 10.9 billion euros. These investments in fossil fuels not only stand in sharp contrast to ABP's claim that it has achieved substantial successes in its climate policy, but are also in flagrant violation of the Paris climate agreement. Unlike international forerunners among pension funds, ABP continues unabated to invest in the fossil energy sector.
Publication / 14 May 2017
Publication / 9 May 2018
Publication / 9 May 2018
Publication / 14 May 2017
Press release / 3 February 2020
Amsterdam, 3 February 2020 - A step forward, but oil and gas remain a blind spot in Dutch pension fund ABP's new investment policy published today. That's what environmental organisations Both ENDS, Fossielvrij NL, Greenpeace Netherlands and urgewald say in response to the new climate policy of the EU's largest pension fund, with assets over 442 billion euros. Although ABP is taking first steps to invest sustainably, more is needed to stop the climate crisis.
Press release / 6 May 2020
The value of ABP's pension fund investments in fossil fuel companies has fallen by 44% from end of last year to its lowest point on March 16 this year, while the value of the rest of the portfolio decreased by 26%. This impact can be seen in simulations based on the publicly available equity portfolios of Dutch pension funds ABP and Zorg en Welzijn (PFZW), carried out by research agency Profundo on behalf of Both ENDS. The simulations show that the risks of investing in the fossil fuel sector are increasing.
News / 2 February 2020
The world has to stop using fossil fuels, but investment in the sector continues unabated. Investors of all kinds, including banks, insurance companies and pension funds, are hesitant about making the change to sustainable energy and are not sure where to start. In the autumn of 2019, together with the DivestInvest Network and Sustainable Energy (Denmark), Both ENDS published a report entitled ‘Managed Decline of Fossil Fuel Businesses’. The report describes five criteria to test whether companies in the fossil sector are actively taking steps to wind down their fossil activities. The criteria are helping investors to choose investments that are in line with the Paris goal of restricting global warming to a maximum of 1.5 degrees Celsius. We spoke to Lars Jensen, Senior Analyst at Sustainable Energy and lead author of the report.
Publication / 24 October 2019
Press release / 22 June 2020
Amsterdam, Copenhagen 22 June 2020 – In these times of increasing climate crisis, corporate social responsibility also means that investments in fossil gas must be phased out as quickly as possible. In a world in which a maximum temperature rise of 1.5 Celsius is the norm, fossil gas cannot be a 'transition fuel' towards sustainable energy. This is the message from five European environmental organisations (Both ENDS, the Danish AnsvarligFremtid, Fossil Free Sweden, Fossil Free Berlin and the Italian Re:Common) to pension funds in their countries that still invest in fossil gas companies. They are promoting that message with a new campaign called "Gas Free Pensions", which is being launched today.
Press release / 23 September 2019
Amsterdam, 23 September 2019 - The world's 5th largest pension fund, with assets of over €430 billion, Dutch ABP is continuing to invest in companies that are on a collision course with the Paris climate goals, such as coal and oil companies.
Press release / 24 October 2019
Press release 24 October 2019
Starting today, investors can use five criteria to test whether companies in the fossil sector are actively working on phasing out their fossil activities. Too many investors still seem hesitant to switch to a profitable future of sustainable energy and these criteria should help them do this. The organisations DivestInvest Network, Sustainable Energy (Denmark) and Both ENDS (the Netherlands) publish the report "Managed Decline of Fossil Fuel Businesses" today, which describes these five criteria. The criteria aim to help investors choose investments that are in line with the Paris goal "stay below 1.5 degrees Celsius warming." The recommendations are presented at the World Pension Summit deliberately, because pension fund investors in particular can take more responsibility in this.
Publication / 23 September 2019
Press release / 26 August 2020
Dutch pension money is invested heavily in companies that contribute to deforestation in the Amazon region and the Cerrado savanna in Brazil, such as soy, animal feed and beef companies. This is concluded in a report published today by Profundo, commisioned by the Fair Finance Guide, Hivos and Both ENDS. All ten pension funds that were examined invest in these types of companies, with the ABP pension fund and Pensioenfonds Zorg en Welzijn on top with investments worth EUR 580 million and EUR 383 million respectively.
Publication / 26 August 2020
Press release / 26 October 2021
Today, on the eve of the UN Climate Change Conference, COP26, the fossil fuel divest-invest movement released a new report that details how institutions representing an unprecedented total of EUR 33.7 trillion worth of assets have now committed to some form of fossil fuel divestment, a figure that's higher than the annual GDP of the United States and China combined.
Press release / 8 July 2021
Civil society organisations send urgent letter on climate to financial sector
Amsterdam, 8 July 2021 – The Shell ruling has consequences for the financiers of major climate polluters. That is the message in a letter from a number of civil society organisations, including Oxfam Novib, Eerlijke Geldwijzer, Milieudefensie, Greenpeace and Both ENDS, to the biggest banks, pension funds and insurance companies in the Netherlands. In the letter, they call on the financial institutions to reduce CO2 emissions from loans and investments in line with the 1.5 degrees goal laid down in the Paris climate agreement.
External link / 19 June 2020
"If it is the fossil fuel-based ‘real economy’ that is driving us toward catastrophic climate change, it is the financial world behind the steering wheel." Therefore in 2019, Both ENDS worked towards fossil free investments by both individuals and public institutions such as the European Investment Bank (EIB).