March 3, 2016

Dutch pension fund’s investments in Shell and other fossil fuel companies down by €5.3bn

Amsterdam, The Netherlands — Dutch pension fund ABP’s investments in the world’s biggest coal, oil and gas companies dropped by €5.3bn over the past year due to plummeting share prices and ABP selling off investments in these companies, financial research released today shows. [1]

The world’s fifth-largest pension fund appears to have drastically reduced its holdings in fossil fuel companies such as Royal Dutch Shell (value of holdings down by 72%), Chevron (-75%), Total (-79%) and BP (-53%) and entirely stopped its investments in 15 fossil fuel companies such as coal giant Peabody Energy. Financial analysis from November showed that the ABP would be $9bn better off, had it divested from fossil fuels in 2012.

Cindy Coltman of ABP Fossil Free said: “ABP seems to realise that fossil fuel companies are no longer financially sound investments but they are also morally unacceptable. It’s irresponsible to use savings that are supposed to provide us with a good future to support companies whose business plans will push us into irreversible climate chaos.”

“At least 80% of fossil fuel reserves need to remain underground to stand a chance of keeping global temperature rise below 2℃. It is good that ABP is starting to take action, but we call on ABP to pledge complete divestment,” she added.

Corien Wortmann-Kool, chair of the board of the ABP reacted to the financial analysis by sustainability think-tank Changerism by highlighting that the reduced value in fossil fuel investments was primarily driven by the steep decline in commodity prices and the pension fund’s aim to shift its investments from fossil fuels to renewable energy.

Vatan Hüzeir of Changerism said: “Our analysis shows that ABP is selling plenty of its holdings in fossil fuels. The huge drop is far bigger than the decreasing value of shares can account for. This should give a boost to the ABP divestment campaign.”

Campaign group ABP Fossil Free handed over a 10,000-signature-strong petition urging the ABP to divest from fossil fuels in March last year and has been putting pressure on the fund to divest ever since. In October last year, the ABP started to move by announcing first plans to reduce the climate-impact of its portfolio. [2]




For Fossil Free Netherlands: Liset Meddens, +31 6412 779 05, (for Fossil Free Netherlands)

For questions about the financial analysis: Vatan Hüzeir, +31 6 1080 1500,



[1] The financial analysis by sustainability think-tank Changerism is based on data of ABP’s holdings from September 2014 – September 2015 and Fossil Free Indexes. See the full data set here.
[2] Fossil Free press release: Dutch pension fund’s new sustainability policy lacks ambition and leadership on climate change, 14 October 2015