Europe’s Biggest Pension Fund Issues Warning to Banks Over CO2

One of Europe’s biggest investors is putting banks on notice and may start exiting the sector unless it sees proof that claims of portfolio decarbonization are matched by action, Bloomberg News reported. “The financial sector has really lagged,” said Dominique Dijkhuis, a member of the executive board and head of investments at ABP, Europe’s biggest pension fund with about $600 billion under management. “If you say you’re committing to a climate course and then still actively granting loans to new fossil products, that’s just not aligned.” ABP is setting “transparent” key performance indicators that financial firms must meet in order to avoid being sold off in the next three years, she said in an interview. Banks need to “take responsibility,” which means looking “very critically” at their fossil-fuel exposures and “maybe move out.” The remarks reflect a rapidly evolving landscape, as institutional investors, regulators, legislators and climate activists ramp up scrutiny of the finance industry’s role in fueling carbon emissions. That’s as banks making net-zero pledges continue to provide substantial support to oil, gas and coal firms that are expanding their business. Read more.