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Storebrand increases fossil-free investment as emissions rise

Oil_refineryNorwegian financial services firm Storebrand Group said it has increased the portion of assets under management (AUM) in fossil-free investments to a third of its portfolio.

Fossil-free investments now amount to €26 billion, including some assets within its Storebrand Asset Management subsidiary. Storebrand Group manages the equivalent of €77.21 billion.

Storebrand Asset Management launched its first fossil free fund in 2015 and the firm said fossil-free funds had seen strong customer demand.

Odd Arild Grefstad, chief executive of Storebrand Group, said: “We believe that companies with a strategy in line with the UN Global Goals and Paris Agreement will create better returns in the long run. Along with all other sectors, the financial sector must recognise its important role in channelling investments into low carbon solutions.”

Institutional investors are to date the largest group of investors in Storebrand’s fossil-free funds and the demand has been strongest in Sweden, but Grefstad said there was an increased interest all over Europe.

The announcement comes in the week after the UN Environment Program (UNEP) launched its latest Emissions Gap Report, which Storebrand said made “sobering reading” as global climate emissions were shown to have increased by 2% in 2018 to record levels.

UNEP has estimated that the world needs to cut emissions by 7.6% on average each year from 2020 in order to limit global warming to 1.5 degrees.

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