Pioneering Local Authorities Divesting From Fossil Fuels Receive Support

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Pioneering Local Authorities Divesting From Fossil Fuels Receive Support

Münster and Stuttgart are being supported in their decarbonisation activities by oekom research, an internationally leading rating agency for sustainable investments, through backing projects that contribute to accelerating climate change.

Both cities are among the first local authorities in Germany wishing to make their investments CO2-neutral and free of fossil fuels such as coal and oil. oekom research is supplying the necessary analyses and reports together with its partner South Pole Group, a leading sustainability solutions provider and global supplier of climate-related impact analyses and carbon footprinting data.

To ensure that investments are no longer directed into companies and projects with adverse effects on the climate, the capital of the German state Baden-Wuerttemberg, Stuttgart, has commissioned oekom research to filter out all the issuers within an investment universe that breach specific, definite exclusion criteria. With this screening, the city is ensuring that investments are no longer made in companies involved in the extraction of coal or oil, or natural gas extraction done by fracking. Companies that allow the use of child or forced labour, or that offer GMO produce are also excluded from the investment pool.

Michael Föll, First Mayor of the state capital Stuttgart, explains:

“We see it as our responsibility towards our citizens to consider the goals for limiting climatic change, and to avert imminent financial losses which could arise, should investments in climate-damaging projects lose their value. oekom research´s qualitative analyses are helping us to achieve these goals.”

The Department of Finance and Investments of the city of Münster, which has become the country’s first local authority to commit to decarbonisation, has tasked oekom research with analysing its medium- and longterm investments in potentially climate-damaging or non-sustainable companies and projects. In doing so, the rating agency is performing a fossil fuel screening – i.e. identifying companies involved in the supply chain of fossil fuels – as well as an analysis of the CO2 risks and carbon exposure of the portfolios held by the city of Münster.

Münster and Stuttgart are leading the way in acknowledging the crucial role of cities for the transition to a 2 degree society – also in their investment activities.

“Thanks to the CO2- and climate-related analyses and data, we can find out where we currently stand in terms of fossil fuels, and consider the measures and concrete next steps for our decarbonisation activities ” says Frank Möller of the Department of Finance and Investments of the city of Münster.

oekom research CEO Robert Haßler comments:

“In preparing the extensive analyses, we are working closely with our partner, South Pole Group. Our detailed research on climate risks is perfectly complemented with their carbon footprinting data and offers decision makers and local authorities an optimal base for implementing their divestment and decarbonisation plans.”

“Münster and Stuttgart are leading the way in acknowledging the crucial role of cities for the transition to a 2 degree society – also in their investment activities. Through our work with both cities and investors around the globe and our partnership with oekom research, we see ourselves as natural allies for other cities following suit,” underlines Maximilian Horster, Partner, Financial Industry, South Pole Group.