Target: Odd Arild Grefstad, CEO of Storebrand
Goal: Applaud a Norwegian financial firm’s decision to drop investments in fossil fuel companies
Carbon Tracker, a think tank based in the United Kingdom, recently released an important report titled Unburnable Carbon 2013: Wasted Capital and Stranded Assets. In the report, the group claims that 60-80 percent of fossil fuel reserves should be left untouched in order to avoid the worst effects of climate change. Furthermore, the study warns that investors that currently have “high exposure to high-carbon assets” are at a risk of possessing “stranded assets”, or stocks that are financially worthless.
In response to this report, Storebrand, a major Norwegian pension fund and life insurance firm, issued a statement saying that the company has dropped its financial interests in 19 fossil fuel companies. Specifically, Storebrand has divested in 13 coal extractors and six companies heavily involved in oil sands extraction. The company states that it is concerned about the long term financial risks associated with heavily polluting forms of energy production. Christine Tørklep Meisingset, Storebrand’s Head of Sustainability, stated that not only are these resources financially worthless, but “it is also true that they do not contribute to sustainable development in the extent and the pace we want.”
In 2012, $674 billion was invested in finding and developing new potentially stranded assets such as coal and oil sands. Although Storebrand claims that its decision to divest was done on “purely financial grounds”, the company also stated that it believes it is “essential to work purposefully to take our share of responsibility.” By signing this petition, you are applauding Storebrand’s decision to drop its investments in fossil fuel companies. Although the firm’s primary motivation is to ensure that its assets are safe, it is also helping to reduce fossil fuel exposure and encouraging other companies to do the same.
Dear Mr. Grefstad,
A recent report indicates that 60-80 percent of fossil fuel reserves should be left untouched in order to avoid the worst effects of climate change. Furthermore, the study warns that investors that currently exposed to high-carbon assets are at a risk of possessing financially worthless stocks. In response to the report, your company issued a statement saying that it will no longer invest in 19 fossil fuel companies.
Specifically, Storebrand has divested in companies that are heavily involved in oil sands extraction. This type of petroleum deposit is arguably the most energy intensive form of fossil fuel. Your company has announced that it is concerned about the long term financial risks associated with heavily polluting forms of energy production. Furthermore, Storebrand has also rightfully stated that these resources do not effectively contribute to sustainable development.
Although a company official claims that the decision to divest was done on purely financial grounds, its seems naive to think that Storebrand is not also motivated by the prospects of positive environmental impact. I applaud your company’s decision to drop its investments in fossil fuel companies; this course of action will help to reduce fossil fuel exposure and encourage other companies to do the same.
[Your Name Here]
Photo Credit: chesapeakeclimate via Flickr