Stockholm (NordSIP) – In yet another new year resolution, Swedish state pension fund AP4 decided to add nuclear wespons and oil sands companies on its exclusion list from January 1st.
A recent change in the Swedish law governing the activities of state pension funds stipulates that responsible investment and ownership should take a central role in the fund’s asset management activites. Based on that change, AP4, which has already shown its committment to sustainability at multiple occasions in the past, has decided to revise its exclusion list, which already counts companies involved in the production of tobacco, mines, cluster weapons, cannabis and thermal coal (>20% sales).
AP4 has revisited its previous interpretation of the Non-Proliferation Treaty, and now believes that excluding nuclear weapons manufacturers is justified. “The current upgrades and modernizations of nuclear weapon systems are not aligned with the intention of long-term disarmament as expressed in the Non-Proliferation Treaty,” says AP4 in a press release.
Companies with 20%+ revenues originating from oil sands have also joined the blacklist, as the fund decided to strengthen its support to the low-carbon economy transition, in line with the UN Climate Convention and the Paris Agreement. Given that oil sands are a highly carbon intensive fuel, the fund believes that they should be phased out in favour of more sustainable energy solutions.
Niklas Ekvall, CEO of AP4 says: ”We welcome that sustainability is now implemented in the law with the clarification that asset management shall be conducted exemplary by responsible investments and responsible ownership. AP4 is one of the leading pension funds when it comes to sustainable asset management and our ambition is to remain at the forefront. We have now decided to increase our ambitions and divest from companies related to nuclear weapons and oil sand.”
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