Press release / 22 June 2020

Press release - Climate movement: “Pension funds, stop investing in fossil gas”

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.

Fossil gas is not a clean alternative to oil and gas. Besides the CO2 that fossil gas emits when burned, gas leaks in production, transport and consumption make a significant contribution to global warming, as fossil gas consists of methane, a much more powerful greenhouse gas than CO2.

False information

Cindy Coltman of Both ENDS: "The fossil gas industry is currently spending billions on spreading the false information that gas is clean and can help with the transition to a fossil-free world. The "Gas Free Pensions" campaign aims to make pension fund participants aware that this information is untrue and encourage them to call on their own funds to phase out all investments in fossil fuels, including fossil gas, as quickly as possible."

Danish pension fund takes steps in the right direction

Earlier this month, members of the Danish campaign 'AnsvarligFremtid' (ResponsibleFuture) submitted a resolution to the annual meeting of the Danish pension fund MP urging the fund to stop investing in fossil gas companies. MP has now taken a number of significant steps to bring its investments in line with the Paris Agreement, for example by disinvesting in Shell, BP and ExxonMobil last year. The fund continues, however, to invest in 20 fossil gas companies, including Gazprom, Lukoil and Eni.

Dutch pension funds hesitant

In the Netherlands, too, pension funds like ABP and Zorg en Welzijn (PFZW) invest heavily in fossil gas companies. Despite pension fund participants campaigning for some time against investments in fossil fuel companies, Dutch pension funds are generally speaking much slower in taking steps that have already taken in other countries. The example of MP in Denmark shows that it is clearly possible for pension funds to stop investing in fossil fuel companies in the relatively short term.

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