Sweden’s AP7 announced it is blacklisting all companies making new major investments in coal production and coal power, widening the scope of the climate-linked divestment policy it has followed up to now.
The SEK600bn (€59bn) state pension fund said the move to evolve its process linked to the Paris Agreement goals to mitigate climate change had meant the immediate exclusion of 10 firms from its investment portfolio.
The fund said it had just completed the sale of these stocks with a total value of SEK273m (€26.6m).
AP7, which manages the default option in Sweden’s defined contribution premium pension system, said in a statement: “The focus on coal companies is because research shows that the single most important method for mitigating climate change is to stop using coal as a source of energy.”
It said the blacklisting methods had now been broadened to exert influence on companies that continue to expand their fossil-fuel activities in coal production and coal power, thereby counteracting the goals in the Paris Agreement.
The coal firms being blacklisted are: China Resources Power Holdings; Coal India; Exxaro Resources; Inner Mongolia Yitai Coal; Korea Electric Power Corporation; PT Adaro Energy; SDIC Power Holding; Shaanxi Coal Industry; Washington H. Soul Pattinson (New Hope Group) and Yanzhou Coal Mining.
These 10 companies distinguished themselves by their negative impact on the climate by continuing to invest in the expansion of fossil energy and engaging in large-scale coal production, AP7 said.
The pension fund said it first decided to incorporate the Paris Agreement in its corporate governance norms in 2016, and six months later started blacklisting companies when they conducted activities that conflicted with the pact.
After the latest six-monthly norm-based screening, AP7 said it had also blacklisted US engineering consulting firm Booz Allen Hamilton Holdings, due to its involvement in nuclear weapons, and removed the China Railway Group from its blacklist after five years, “since there is no longer information about current violations of norms”.
As of yesterday, AP7 said a total of 84 companies had been blacklisted and excluded from its investment universe.
AP7’s announcement follows news from another of Sweden’s national pension funds, AP2, that it has sold its investments in fossil fuel companies as part of a move to use the EU Paris-Aligned Benchmark for its portfolios for foreign equities and corporate bonds.