The Guardian | One of the world’s largest pension funds, ABP, is selling its €15bn-worth of holdings in fossil fuel companies, including Royal Dutch Shell, claiming it had been unable to persuade the sector to transition quickly enough towards decarbonisation.
At Shell’s AGM in May, ABP voted in favour of the company’s own climate strategy, under which its emissions would increase over the next decade.
Mark van Baal from Follow This, a campaign group that uses activist investment to pressure oil companies into decarbonising in line with the limits set by the 2015 Paris climate agreement, said: “Today, Shell loses one of their best friends. We hope this is a wake-up call for the board of Shell.
“We hope more critical investors will replace ABP as shareholders in Big Oil.
“This is a victory for the fossil-free movement and a victory for the fight against the climate crisis. It shows how a group of citizens can make an impact.”
In May a court in The Hague ordered Royal Dutch Shell to cut its global carbon emissions by 45% by the end of 2030 compared with 2019 levels, in a landmark case brought by Friends of the Earth. The Anglo-Dutch company was told it had a duty of care and that the level of emission reductions of Shell and its suppliers and buyers should be brought into line with the Paris climate agreement.
McKenzie Ursch, a legal adviser for Follow This, said he believed the court rulings could have been a significant factor in ABF’s decision. He said: “This foreshadows a new wave of litigation against major GHG [greenhouse gas] emitters, and indicates that oil majors and large investors have an individual responsibility to combat climate change.”