Denmark’s Pædagogernes Pension (PBU) announced it has added 144 fossil fuel companies to the list of stocks it will not invest in as part of a new tougher climate policy, with the mass blacklisting having resulted in 12 divestments.
The pension fund for “pædagoger” – a Danish professional category mainly including early-childhood teachers – said its new approach meant it would shun fossil fuel businesses which did not a have a timely plan for reducing carbon emissions from their production operations.
However, it would also increase active ownership, and remain invested in fossil fuel firms prepared to restructure their businesses accordingly, PBU said.
Rasmus Juhl Pedersen, head of responsible investment at PBU, said: “If companies cannot convince us that they have a clear plan for their transition and back it up with action in the short, medium and long term, PBU will consider whether we should continue to be invested.”
Juhl Pedersen told IPE the fund had previously excluded US oil giant Chevron on the same grounds.
“The new climate-related exclusions are the result of more vigorous and systematic analysis using activity thresholds on thermal coal extraction, thermal coal power production and oil sands in addition to singling out the ‘worst of the worst’ fossil fuel companies in relation to addressing the challenges of climate change,” he said.
He declined to name the latest fossil fuel companies PBU had divested or disclose the value of these divestments.
Sune Schackenfeldt, PBU’s chief executive officer, said: “As an investor, we are actively working for an ongoing global transition to an economy that is less dependent on fossil fuels and where renewable energy and green technology are in focus.”
The pension fund said these latest exclusions did not change its stance on active ownership, and that it could continue investing in fossil fuel firms, as long as they were contributing to the green transition.
The DKK79bn (€10.6bn) pension fund said it currently had DKK5.4bn invested in “companies that provide solutions to the climate challenges,” and expected to have invested another DKK15bn in this area by 2030.
PBU said its board had set a target of carbon neutrality for its portfolio by 2050.