(Adds background, fund manager quotes)
By Bate Felix
PARIS Dec 7 Momentum among institutional investors to divest from carbon-intensive organizations is choosing up, creating them prospective game changers in curbing emissions, the head of a Swedish state pension fund stated on Monday.
His comments at a enterprise forum on the sidelines of the UN climate summit in Paris came as a quantity of huge pension funds mentioned they had been actively searching for to get into renewable power or firms that minimize their climate danger, and in some situations are operating with governments to promote green spending.
“Institutional investors as the universal owners of corporations, and as the biggest pool of capital, are entering the game,” mentioned Mats Andersson, chief executive officer of the Swedish national government pension fund AP4, which has 276 billion ($ 32 billion) under management.
One more fund, AP2, said last week it had divested from coal-fired power utilities.
Such investors “have also began to rid their big core and mainstream investment portfolios of the risks linked to climate alter and, in distinct, the dangers linked with the transition to a low-carbon economy,” Andersson told the forum.
Saker Nusseibeh, CEO of Hermes Investment Management with 29.5 billion pounds ($ 44 billion) beneath management and 146.six billion under advice, said “sensible money” in the investment community was going green.
“We are underweight fossil fuels, we are underweight on organizations with a high carbon footprint,” Nusseibeh told Reuters.
Torben Moger Pedersen, who heads PensionDanmark with a total asset base of $ 25 billion, stated the group had significantly increased its exposure to wind, biomass and solar energy over the last five years. “It is 10 percent of our total asset base,” he told Reuters.
Also in Paris on Monday, two institutional investors, German insurer Allianz SE and ABP, a pension fund for Dutch government and education sector workers, jointly stated they will join a group of investors who have pledged to fight climate adjust through their investments.
Launched final year, the group known as Portfolio Decarbonization Coalition (PDC) now includes 25 institutional investor at the moment overseeing the gradual “decarbonisation” of assets below management worth $ 600 billion.
“Climate change needs quickly and collective action and continued commitment for decades to come,” Oliver Baete, CEO of Allianz, said.
($ 1 = 8.5232 Swedish crowns)
(Editing by David Holmes)