Swedish pension fund seeks to widen Paris accord activism

by Reuters
Monday, 19 June 2017 12:01 GMT

The Swedish flag is seen at Gamla Stan, the Old City of Stockholm, Sweden, May 7, 2017. REUTERS/Ints Kalnins

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The pension fund - with $45 billion of assets under management - may be first to cite the Paris deal as reason for a divestment

By Gwladys Fouche

OSLO, June 19 (Reuters) - Sweden's largest national pension fund is looking to get other investors to agree on principles relating to their shareholdings in companies which it says violate the Paris climate agreement.

The fund, called AP7, last week sold out of ExxonMobil , Gazprom, TransCanada Corp, Westar Energy, Entergy and Southern Corp in what some environmentalists said was the first time an investor had cited the Paris agreement as the reason for a divestment.

ExxonMobil denied it was in breach of the accord, while Entergy said AP7's decision was unfounded and Westar Energy said that its strategy is to "strike the balance among keeping power clean, reliable and affordable".

The other companies did not reply to requests for comment.

"At this stage we are talking with four other investors," a spokesman for AP7, which provides pensions to 3.5 million Swedes and said it would no longer invest in companies it decides are in breach of the Paris climate accord, told Reuters.

The fund has 390 billion Swedish crowns ($45 billion) of assets under management.

"We are looking to other investors to start a dialogue on principles that we can agree on as long-term investors regarding the Paris Climate agreement," the spokesman added.

"Some are similar in nature to us and some are on the private side," he said, but declined to name them.

($1 = 8.6905 Swedish crowns) (Additional reporting by Scott DiSavino in New York; editing by Alexander Smithh)

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