A group of 25 international institutional investors with assets worth more than €61 billion in assets under management, including AP4, the Swedish National Pension Fund (€31 billion under management), and the British UNISON Staff Pension Scheme. Sarasins and Partners (UK, €19 billion), The Pensions Trust (UK, €8.7 billion) and Australian Ethical Investment (€546m) in letters to nine multinational energy and mining companies have called to leave EU lobbying associations, because of their “regressive” climate change policies.  Last month, they wrote to nine publicly listed FTSE 100 giants – BHP Billiton, BP, EDF, Glencore, Johnson Matthey, Proctor and Gamble, Rio Tinto, Statoil and Total to reconsider their membership of BusinessEurope, The European Chemical Industry Council (CEFIC), FuelsEurope, Eurometaux (the European Association of Metals), and the International Association of Oil and Gas Producers. Each is a member of at least one of the associations.

Arne Lööw, Head of Corporate Governance at AP4 (Fourth Swedish National Pension Fund) said:

“As we approach important UN negotiations on climate change, AP4 (Fourth Swedish National Pension Fund) is pleased to support this initiative. We believe it is important that investors put pressure on companies who are financing associations seeking to undermine climate legislation, and would encourage companies to withdraw from associations who have lobbied in ways which seem inconsistent with the companies´ own statements on climate action.”

Based on evidence from a recent publication from the Policy Studies Institute (PSI) at the University of Westminster, the letters highlight the obstructive lobbying undertaken on behalf of the companies by EU trade associations including Cefic, BusinessEurope and FuelsEurope.

PSI’s research shows how these organisations have sought to weaken policies on emissions reductions and renewable energy. The lobbying on climate policy that they undertake is often at odds with the more progressive statements on the need for action on climate change the companies have publicly made.