March 18, 2015

More than 10,000 call on Dutch pension fund to divest from coal, oil and gas

Amsterdam, Netherlands – Members of Dutch pension fund ABP handed over a petition signed by 10,000 people to the fund’s Board last night, calling on the fifth-largest pension fund in the world to stop investments in coal, oil and gas. ABP currently invests more than €30bn in fossil fuels compared to just about €1bn in renewable energy.

ABP Vice-Chair José  Meijer received the petition saying: “These kind of initiatives are good, they keep us sharp. We are going to take a critical look at the influence our investments have on climate change and better communicate what we do.”

Jan Vos, member of Parliament for Labour Party PvdA, told the ABP Board: “Your level of ambition is disappointing. There is not enough urgency.”

Chris Roorda, employee of the Erasmus University Rotterdam and co-founder of ABP Fossil Free said: “As employee of a university, I am required to build my pension with ABP. I do not want my money invested in companies that cause climate change and remain fixed on a strategy entirely based on fossil energy. Last night was very successful: it opened the debate, ABP heard us, they acknowledged the problem but the urgency is not there. It has given us plenty of points to continue following up!”

On Tuesday, just before ABP received the petition, the fund announced in the newspaper De Volkskrant that despite an earlier decline, it has now decided to invest in a off-shore wind energy project in the Netherlands. Some interpret this as a result of the continuing pressure the fund is facing from the national divestment movement.

Vatan Hüzeir, co-initiator of the ‘ABPfossielvrij’-campaign commented: “It’s is a good first step that ABP has now decided to invest in renewable energy. But some hundreds of millions of euros are a drop in a bucket compared to more than €30 billion in fossil fuels. We want ABP to fully divest from fossil fuels and make a definite decision for a fossil-free future. With other pension funds having already done so – at least partially – it is ABP’s turn to pick up the ball”



Vatan Hüzeir, +31610801500,, co-initiator ABPfossielvrij campaign. (@ABPfossielvrij, 

Liset Meddens +31641277905,, coordinator Fossil Free Netherlands,

About the petition: The ‘ABPfossielvrij’ petition is an initiative by ABP pension members, supported by Fossil Free Netherlands, the national division of the global divestment movement. It demands that ABP invests its members money responsibly by divesting from coal, oil and gas.

Photo of the Fossil Free ABP petition handover