Following in the footsteps of The Hague, Utrecht, Nijmegen, and Amsterdam, the city of Maastricht has called on ABP pension fund to withdraw all its investments in the fossil fuel industry.
ABP currently invests 16.5 billion euro in fossil fuel companies, including Shell and ExxonMobil.
Sarah Thin, an employee at Maastricht University and a member of Fossil Free Maastricht is very pleased to hear this news. “I am delighted that the gemeente has taken this step. I was shocked to discover a few months ago that ABP is investing my pension in such an unethical industry as the fossil fuel industry. Fossil fuel companies are destroying our planet, our lives, and our democracies, and ABP must stop supporting them and funding their activities.”
The appeal from the gemeente of Maastricht is a step in the right direction to making ABP fossil-free. But we are not there yet. Just like employees of the municipality, all employees of the Maastricht University also have their pension automatically managed by ABP. A joint movement of staff and students is appealing to Maastricht University to make a similar statement calling on ABP to stop investing in fossil fuels. Nearly 800 people have signed a petition to this effect, which will be officially handed to the University on 22 May (see the event here).
Each time an institution publicly breaks its link with the fossil industry, it becomes more and more apparent that the financial and social support the fossil industry enjoys is crumbling. It is time for the Netherlands to be fossil free!