GÖTEBORG, Sweden- The international divestment movement and the Swedish fair pension campaign #schysstapensioner campaign are celebrating a major win today as the Second AP Fund – one of several Swedish national pension funds – announced it would begin divesting from fossil fuels.
In a move designed to reduce the financial risks of its investments in fossil fuel-based energy, the Second AP Fund announced today it will no longer have investments in 12 coal and 8 oil-and-gas production companies. This represents a divestment of holdings with a total market value of about SEK 840 million (€91 million or $116 million).
Following a comprehensive risk analysis of all Second AP Fund holdings in fossil-fuel based energy companies, based on climate impact, the Fund has decided that divestment was the prudent option.
“Our starting point for this analysis has been to determine the financial risks associated with the energy sector. By not investing in a number of companies, we are reducing our exposure to risk constituted by fossil-fuel based energy. This decision will help to protect the Fund’s long-term return on investment,” says Eva Halvarsson, CEO of the Second AP Fund.
The majority of the turnover generated by the coal-production companies identified in the Fund’s analysis derives from the sale of thermal coal. These companies face considerable climate-related financial risk, due to the negative environmental and health impacts of coal, which affect demand. Furthermore, coal-powered electricity production is subject to competition from gas and renewable energy.
In the case of oil-and-gas companies, the Fund had “identified a number of companies featuring substantial exposure in high-cost projects, such as oil-extraction from oil sands. The Fund believes these companies face serious climate-related financial risks and that it is highly likely that these projects may either be stranded or unprofitable”.
The Fund’s holdings in the 20 companies that have been identified amount to a total market value of about SEK 840 million.
“Today’s announcement shows the writing is on the wall for the fossil fuel industry. The Second AP fund has taken an important first step in recognising that it’s financially irresponsible to invest money that is meant to provide for people’s futures in the very companies fuelling the climate crisis that threatens this future. All AP Funds need to follow their lead now by phasing out investments in fossil fuels and supporting a just transition to a livable future instead.” Olivia Linander, Fossil Free Sweden campaign coordinator