What’s Going On Here?

One of the biggest financial asset management firms has moved its investments out of major petrochemical and mining companies due to their actions lobbying against green policies.

What Does This Mean?

Storebrand, a Norwegian firm with investments of $90bn, has divested from (moved money out of) major oil, gas and mining companies including ExxonMobil, Rio Tinto and Chevron. Storebrand made this announcement as part of its new climate policy – targeting companies that ‘use their political clout to influence green policy.’

The press release was backed by a strong speech by the CEO of Storebrand, saying that “climate change is one the greatest risks facing humanity and lobbying activities which undermine action to solve this crisis are simply unacceptable.”

Although divestment from these industries is becoming increasingly popular, this is the first time an investor has pulled savings explicitly due to companies lobbying against environmental standards!

Why Should We Care?

Oil, gas and other petrochemical/mining companies have historically (and persistently) lobbied against climate action, and are continuing to today!

Research released by ResearchMap last year showed that in the 3 years following the Paris Agreement, the five largest oil and gas companies invested over $1bn of shareholder funds on misleading climate-related branding and lobbying. These firms have also been shown to have begun spreading misinformation and promoting uncertainty and denial of climate change since the 1970s!

Their actions can (and has already) damped environmental legislation and policy, as well as promoting inaction and delay amongst other corporations in addressing the ongoing climate crisis.

Storebrand’s announcement sets a new precedent in what is deemed to be investable and acceptable behaviour in a climate-friendly future. It directly signals to the market and other corporations their interest in a green and sustainable future, and readiness to invest in corporations that are compatible with this vision.

Be Curious!

  • Check out our previous articles on divestment and climate action within the financial sector
  • Support the work of organisations such as ShareAction – who are working with organisations to enable responsible investment across the financial system.  
  • Put your money where your mouth is – one of the most powerful actions we can take is ensuring our money is saved and invested within companies that are climate-friendly and future-fit. Here’s some good places to start:
  • Who is your pension with? Look here to see their environmental score? Not happy with it? – talk about it with your employers/move it! 
  • Check out the eco-credentials of your current account here – again, not happy? Move it! 
  • Invest in companies that exclude companies with poor ratings on environmental and social governance (negative screening), and look to invest in green companies (positive screening). This article is a useful starting point…

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