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Aegon calls for fewer constraints on sustainable investments

Global, March 16, 2016

Commenting on the transition from a fossil-fuel based economy to a more sustainable energy system, Aegon CEO, Alex Wynaendts said, "I believe we're on the right track, but the process needs to be faster."

Man fitting solar panels on a roof

At a strategic business dialogue in Paris last week, Mr. Wynaendts made clear that Aegon and other institutional investors are often held back by laws and regulations, which make long-term illiquid investments unattractive. Mr. Wynaendts called upon both French and Dutch government representatives to join forces in talks with European authorities to address these constraints.

Stable policies needed

There is also a need for a stable and predictable regulatory and policy landscape, such as taxes and subsidies, to stimulate investors. The importance of the government as a reliable partner for these policy issues, to encourage the energy transition, was also recently underlined by Dutch Central Bank president, Klaas Knot in a meeting with Dutch parliament.

Earlier this year Aegon Asset Management and its French strategic partner La Banque Postale Asset Management announced an investment of €70 million in an offshore 288 MW wind farm located in Germany. The wind park consists of 80 Siemens wind turbines and has been operational since January 2015.

Current regulations limit opportunities

When the investment was announced, Aegon Asset Management representatives indicated that the company would like to do more of these types of investments, however investment opportunities that offer a good fit with applicable investment criteria are very limited, partly due to current regulations.

Last year, in signing the Paris Pledge for Action, Aegon committed to quickly and effectively contribute to the implementation of the Paris Agreement and accelerating the transformative changes needed to meet the climate change challenge.