Luxembourg, 13 July 2020 – 9 Greenpeace Luxembourg activists placed two human-sized yellow signs with the message “Caution – Greenwash” at the main entrance of the national pension fund’s headquarters this morning. Known as Fonds de Compensation (FDC), Luxembourg’s pension fund claims to conduct sustainable and socially responsible investments, yet provided more than half of a billion Euro to oil, gas and coal companies like Shell, BP, Total and Chevron during 2019. Greenpeace Luxembourg opposes this deceptive marketing scheme and demands immediate measures from Parliament and the Bettel government, to ensure the withdrawal of public funds entrusted to the FDC from fossil fuel corporations.
“The pension fund is investing my retirement savings in the very corporations that are fuelling the climate crisis and leaving me without a future. I’m here to say enough is enough. The fund managers are putting our future at risk and we are here to call that out,” said Marguerite, one of the activists.
A total of 1,237 institutions representing 14 trillion US dollars have divested from fossil fuels worldwide. About 13% of these institutions are pension funds and the number keeps growing. As recently as March 2020, the Swedish pension fund AP1 announced that it was ending all investments in fossil fuel companies for financial reasons. Divesting from fossil fuels is a sound financial decision: non-fossil fuel indices have outperformed fossil fuel indices over the last five years.
“More and more banks, insurance companies, pension and investment funds are ending their financial support of oil, gas and coal. But neither the climate crisis nor the carbon bubble seem to interest the FDC managers and the Social Security Minister Romain Schneider. They are compromising the future of the planet and putting the future of pensions at risk”, explained Martina Holbach, Climate and Finance Campaigner at Greenpeace Luxembourg.
On 2 July 2020, Social Security Minister Romain Schneider and FDC President Fernand Lepage had to answer questions on the pension fund’s investment policy before the corresponding parliamentary commission. According to information from Greenpeace Luxembourg, the session showed no progress: both Minister Schneider and Mr Lepage defended the fund’s existing climate-damaging investment policy.
“In view of the FDC’s negligence, we call on our Parliament and the Bettel government to take immediate action and divest public funds from environmentally harmful companies,” said Myrna Koster, Climate Justice Campaigner at Greenpeace Luxembourg. “In addition to protecting our livelihoods and human rights, divesting from fossil fuels is essential to secure the pensions of present and future generations.“
 Greenpeace Luxembourg analysed the FDC’s annual report (published in May) and concluded that the FDC continues to invest in coal, oil and gas companies. In 2019 alone, the FDC invested more than 256 million euros in some of the world’s largest coal companies and more than 385 million euros in oil and gas companies (including tar sands and shale gas producers). Several of the sustainably managed sub-funds, including some ESG-certified sub-funds, invested in global polluters such as Shell, Total, BP, Chevron, Equinor and Fortum.
 Some examples include Norway’s state pension fund GPFG (Government Pension Fund-Global), Allianz, Axa, Generali, MunichRe, Amundi, AP4, Storebrand and KLP.
 “Divesting from fossil fuels is an efficient way for the fund to manage the financial risk associated with a transition in line with the Paris agreement” – Urban Hansson Brusewitz, chairman of the Swedish fund AP1, https://www.reuters.com/article/climatechange-investments-sweden/swedish-pension-fund-joins-move-to-end-fossil-fuel-investments-idUSL8N2B97HA