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AP1 divests nuclear weapons, tobacco, coal and oil sands stocks

AP1, Stockholm, divested investments in nuclear weapons, tobacco, coal and oil sands companies from its portfolio, the 337.7 billion Swedish kronor ($38 billion) pension fund said in a statement Thursday.

The move follows the introduction of sustainability and responsible ownership guidelines into the law by the Swedish government that took effect Jan. 1. for AP1, AP2, AP3 and AP4, which collectively have about 1.4 trillion kronor in assets.

AP1 said it does not believe investments in nuclear weapon and tobacco producers are in line with the goals of international agreements — the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty and the WHO Framework Convention on Tobacco Control, respectively — which the fund supports.

In addition, the pension fund cut its exposure to investments in coal and oil sands producers. "We believe that utilization of these two types of energy, which have the worst climate impacts, makes it difficult to reach the climate goals of the (2015) Paris Agreement," the pension fund said.

Separately, AP4, Stockholm, divested 3 billion kronor that was invested in equities of nuclear weapons and oil sand companies from its portfolio, it said Wednesday.

Prior to the change, the four AP funds had collaborated on the guidelines for reporting on how the sustainability target can be achieved, and guidelines on which assets should be divested.

The impact of the guidelines aimed at responsible ownership will be evaluated by the Swedish government in the spring of 2020.

However, the goal must be achieved without the funds renouncing the overall goal of long-term high returns, AP1 said.

Spokesmen for the three AP funds could not be reached to provide additional details.