15 Mar 2024, 13:44
Benjamin Wehrmann

Leading German investment funds continue to neglect climate targets in portfolio - Greenpeace

Clean Energy Wire

Germany’s largest investment funds continue to put billions of euros in fossil fuel companies whose business activities are undermining the Paris Climate Agreement, environmental NGO Greenpeace has said. Nine years after the agreement was made in Paris in 2015, none of the four investment funds analysed by the NGO has transitioned to an investment portfolio that is in line with the agreement’s targets, said Greenpeace finance expert Mauricio Vargas. With total fossil fuel investments of 16.8 billion euros, Deutsche Bank subsidiary DWS leads the ranking of fossil fuel investors, putting about four times more into companies in the oil, gas, and coal business than its competitors Allianz Global Investors, Deka Investments, and Union Investment, Greenpeace said. “DWS cares little about the climate and continues to invest billions into the greatest climate sinners,” Vargas said, adding that the company must stop misleading the public through greenwashing efforts. Union Investment, on the other hand, had at least managed to implement a tight rulebook for coal investments that visibly reduced its exposure in this segment of the fossil fuel industry. “This kind of approach is needed for the [finance] industry as a whole and across all forms of fossil energy,” Vargas argued. Greenpeace called on the investment funds to quickly establish credible rules for fossil fuel investments and to stop putting money into coal and expanding oil and gas extraction altogether.

Fund manager DWS has previously come under fire for greenwashing activities that led to a hefty fine in the U.S. and prompted the company to revise its sustainable investment promotion practices. In its analysis, Greenpeace assumed that new investments in coal and in exploring and exploiting new oil and gas sources inherently runs counter to the Paris Agreement’s goals. Coal power should be excluded from portfolios entirely by 2030 in industrialised countries and worldwide by 2040, it said.

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