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Major hedge fund dumps oil companies for lobbying against climate action

That oil, gas, and mining companies extract resources while damaging the environment is already bad enough, but what is absolutely unacceptable is that some of these companies lobby against climate action. That’s why a Nordic hedge fund worth more than $90bn (£68.6bn) has dumped its stocks in some of the world’s biggest oil companies and miners responsible for lobbying against climate action.

Storebrand, a Norwegian asset manager, divested from miner Rio Tinto, as well as US oil giants ExxonMobil and Chevron, as part of a new climate policy targeting companies that use their political clout to block green policies. The investor is one of many major financial institutions divesting from polluting industries but is understood to be the first to dump shares in companies that use their influence to slow the pace of climate action.

Jan Erik Saugestad, the chief executive of Storebrand, said corporate lobbying activity designed to undermine solutions to “the greatest risks facing humanity” is “simply unacceptable”.

Storebrand will also divest from German chemicals company BASF and US electricity supplier Southern Company for lobbying against climate regulation, and a string of companies that derive more than 5% of their revenues from coal or oil sands. Now the hope is other investor groups will follow Storebrand’s lead in divesting from companies that support anti-climate lobbying “as part of a logical progression in global fossil fuel divestment”.

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