Dutch healthcare scheme PFZW has divested from another 78 oil and gas firms, selling stakes worth €303m. The companies in question had failed to make a public commitment to the Paris Climate Agreement, PFZW said.
The divestments are part of an engagement programme with the fossil fuels industry that €218bn PFZW launched last year.
In a first step last October, the fund sold €470m worth of stakes in 114 oil and gas companies which did not have carbon reduction goals. In the programme’s second step, stocks and bonds of companies that had failed to back the Paris Climate Agreement by the end of 2022 were sold.
As was the case in last year’s divestment wave, most companies that were sold are based in the US and emerging markets.
PFZW remains invested in 94 oil and gas firms, with a total value of €2.7bn, for now. This includes stakes in oil majors such as Shell, Total, BP and ExxonMobil which all have targets to be carbon neutral by 2050 and have paid lip service to the Paris agreement, although they also plan to keep investing in new oil and gas fields at the same time.
In phase three of PFZW’s engagement programme, the oil and gas firms remaining in PFZW’s portfolio are expected to “draw up a viable energy transition strategy that aligns with “Paris” before the end of 2023”, according to PFZW.
“This strategy should include short and medium targets and encompass both operational emissions (scopes 1 and 2) and the emissions from the combustion of oil and gas products (scope 3). Fossil energy companies in our portfolio that fail to produce such a strategy by the end of this year will be divested,” the fund said in a press statement.
PFZW will now have an “intensive dialogue” with 12 large oil and gas companies, including Shell, Total, Repsol and Neste, which have shown willingness to make a sustainable transition.
“They can play an important role in making our energy system more sustainable because they have the necessary expertise, capital, and scale,” according to the pension scheme.