Swedish Pension Fund Shuns Firms That Violate Paris Accord

But despite divestment, fund still owns hundreds of millions of dollars in fossil fuel stocks.

AP7, Sweden’s largest national pension fund, says it has divested from six companies that it claims violate the Paris climate accord, including ExxonMobil, Southern Co., TransCanada Corp., Russia’s Gazprom, Westar, Entergy, and Southern Co., according to Reuters.

“Since the last screening in December 2016, the Paris agreement to the U.N. Climate Convention is one of the norms we include in our analysis,” the company said in a statement.

According to AP7’s most recent available data as of May 19, ExxonMobil was the sixth-largest holding in its equity fund, and had a market value of more than SEK2.76 billion ($320 million). The fund’s stake in Southern was worth SEK400.8 million ($46.1 million); TransCanada was worth SEK324.4 million ($37.3 million); Gazprom had a market value of SEK222.6 million ($25.6 million); Entergy Corp. was valued at SEK109.9 million ($12.6 million); and Westar was worth SEK62 million ($7.1 million).

New York City-based nonprofit environmental organization 350.org lauded the Swedish pension fund for its divestment decision.

“Sweden divesting its largest pension from Exxon proves you can’t claim to support climate action while funding and perpetuating climate change,” said Jamie Henn, 350.org’s strategic communications director, in a statement. “Exxon knew about climate change half a century ago, and continues to sow doubt and bankroll climate deniers. With its core business model dependent on exploiting people and planet for profit, Exxon is in direct violation of the Paris agreement.”

However, the six companies AP7 divested from only represent a portion of the pension fund’s investment in fossil fuel companies. The fund still invests hundreds of millions dollars into more than a dozen oil and gas exploration and production companies, and oilfield services firms.

In its equity fund, AP7 still has SEK1.6 billion ($183.9 million) in Chevron Corp., and owns SEK819.9 million ($94.2 million) worth of oilfield services company Schlumberger, and SEK482.3 million ($55.4 million) in ConocoPhillips. AP7 also has more than $50 million invested in Suncor Energy, a Canadian energy firm that specializes in the controversial production of synthetic crude from oil sands.

Among other oil-related companies, the Swedish pension fund still owns shares in Occidental Petroleum, Phillips 66, Anadarko Petroleum Corp., China Petroleum & Chemical, National Oilwell Varco Inc., Marathon Oil, Cabot Oil & Gas Corp., Imperial Oil Ltd., and Oil Search Ltd., as well as several others.




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