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Almost half of all mutual funds that present themselves as most sustainable still invest in fossil fuels and aviation, currently one of the most polluting sectors.
Editorial office / Amsterdam

This is shown by data research set up and led by Investico and Follow the Money, in cooperation with eight European media. The fossil shares turned up in funds from fund providers Actiam, Blackrock and BNP Paribas, among others. They total 388 out of 838 funds that classify themselves in the most ‘dark green’ European sustainability class of investments. They invest a total of €8.5 billion in fossil companies and also have no phasing-out strategy. For example, a lot of money goes to US energy company NextEra Energy, French oil giant TotalEnergies, German energy company RWE, and airlines like easyJet and Lufthansa.

Joost Schmets, spokesman for the Dutch investors’ association VEB called this practice misleading of investors. In their defence, the funds argue that there are no rules prohibiting investing in fossil companies. The Dutch Financial Markets Authority (AFM) says the definition of sustainability in European rules is so vague that it is difficult to enforce. According to legal experts, however, funds can be tackled if they claim not to cause any social or environmental damage.

For the research report, visit Follow the Money.

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