It’s Wednesday, October 27, and the E.U.’s biggest pension fund is moving away from fossil fuels.

 

Europe’s biggest pension fund, ABP of the Netherlands, announced earlier this week that it will sell off all its fossil fuels investments by 2023. With ABP’s current fossil fuel holdings valued at about $17.4 billion, the move is one the largest divestments ever announced by a pension fund.

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Corien Wortmann-Kool, ABP’s chair, told the Financial Times that the fund decided to abandon fossil fuel investments because it realized it didn’t have the leverage as a shareholder to push fossil fuel companies for a “significant acceleration of the energy transition.” 

“We will focus our energy transition efforts on large users of fossil energy such as electricity companies, the car industry and aviation,” Wortmann-Kool told the Financial Times

The announcement is the latest in a trail of pension funds divesting from fossil fuels. Just last month, Canada’s second largest pension fund, Caisse de Depot et Placement du Quebec, said that it would sell all its oil investments. In June, Maine became the first U.S. state to order its pension fund for public employees to ditch oil, gas, and coal investments, with a deadline of 2026. Two public pension funds in New York City decided in January to divest $4 billion from fossil fuel companies

According to the nonprofit DivestInvest, which tracks institutional divestments from fossil fuels, about 1,500 asset managers in charge of a combined $39.2 trillion have committed to dump fossil fuels over the past seven years.

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María Paula Rubiano A.

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