Aegon calls for G20 governments to end fossil fuel subsidies by 2020

Aegon Asset Management has joined with 15 other investors and insurers to urge the G20 to end fossil fuel subsidies by 2020. Together these companies have assets under management of US$ 2.8 trillion.

Coal fired power station

Aegon has signed this joint statement to highlight the risk that continued government support for fossil fuels creates for the financial sector. It calls for G20 governments to set a clear deadline at the 2017 G20 Summit in Germany, to phase out of fossil fuel subsidies and public finance for fossil fuels.

Coal divestment

Climate change has been on Aegon's agenda for some time, and resulted in a number of investments in green energy, including wind and solar projects. And in 2016, Aegon took the decision to strike coal mining from its investment list.

Aegon's Global Head of Strategy and Sustainability, Marc van Weede commented: "The impacts of climate change are irreversible. We are pleased to support this coalition to raise awareness about the impacts of fossil fuel subsidies. It is our belief that these subsidies are delaying the transition to green energy."

Research launched earlier this week by the Global Subsidies Initiative and the Overseas Development Institute found that ending subsidies for global fossil fuel production would have the same impact as eliminating emissions from the global aviation sector.

Catastrophic climate change

Research published in 2015 by the Overseas Development Institute and Oil Change International found that G20 governments spend $444 billion each year to support fossil fuel production – despite pledging every year since 2009 to end subsidies and prevent catastrophic climate change.

Shelagh Whitley, Head of the Overseas Development Institute's Climate and Energy research programme, said: "Global investors and insurers are sending a clear message to governments that burning public money through fossil fuel subsidies is not just bad for the planet, but bad economic policy too."

Notes to editors

  • Investors and insurers are: Actiam, Aegon Asset Management, Australian Ethical Investment, Aviva Investors, Bayerische Versorgungskammer, Dana Investment Advisors, EdenTree Investment Management Ltd, Environment Agency Pension Fund, First Affirmative Financial Network, Friends Fiduciary Corporation, Inflection Point Capital Management, KBI Global Investors, La Francaise, Legal and General, Trillium Asset Management LLC, Trilogy Global Advisors LP have more than USD 2.8 trillion in assets under management.
  • The G20 Foreign Ministers will meet 16 and 17 February 2017 in Bonn, Germany, and the G20 Finance Ministers and central bank governors will meet from 17 to 18 March 2017 in Baden-Baden, Germany.
  • The G20 leaders' summit will take place in Hamburg, Germany on 7 and 8 July, 2017