Dutch pension fund PFZW to end some fossil fuel investment, including in the Arctic

The decision by PFZW follows similar moves by other asset managers as well as banks and insurers.

Smoke and steam billows from Belchatow Power Station, Europe’s largest coal-fired power plant operated by PGE Group, near Belchatow, Poland on November 28, 2018. (Kacper Pempel / Reuters File Photo)

AMSTERDAM — PFZW, the Dutch health care workers’ pension fund, on Wednesday said it would disinvest from any fossil fuel company by 2024 that doesn’t have a “convincing and verifiable” strategy to reach the goals laid out in the Paris Climate Change agreement.

It also said it would place specific emphasis on stopping extraction in the Arctic and investments in new production.

The decision by PFZW, with 278 billion euros ($316 billion) in assets, follows similar moves by other asset managers to overhaul the way they invest as part of a global efforts to reach net-zero carbon emissions by 2050.

Some have chosen to exit high carbon-emitting sectors altogether in the fight against climate change.

The move comes as many banks have also moved away from financing some forms of oil extraction in the Arctic, or in some parts of it.

The Dutch fund said that between now and 2024 it would work with other large investors and engage in discussions with companies in which it invests.

“If necessary, a vote will be taken against the appointment of directors who are making insufficient contribution to the transition of their company,” the fund said in a statement.

PFZW could not immediately be reached for an estimate of what percentage of its portfolio could be affected by the decision.

The fund’s 2020 annual report showed investments such as a 250 million euros holding in Chevron Corp and smaller stakes in Total, Shell and BP among others.