• Atmospheric CO2 /Parts per Million /Annual Averages /Data Source: noaa.gov

  • 1980338.91ppm

  • 1981340.11ppm

  • 1982340.86ppm

  • 1983342.53ppm

  • 1984344.07ppm

  • 1985345.54ppm

  • 1986346.97ppm

  • 1987348.68ppm

  • 1988351.16ppm

  • 1989352.78ppm

  • 1990354.05ppm

  • 1991355.39ppm

  • 1992356.1ppm

  • 1993356.83ppm

  • 1994358.33ppm

  • 1995360.18ppm

  • 1996361.93ppm

  • 1997363.04ppm

  • 1998365.7ppm

  • 1999367.8ppm

  • 2000368.97ppm

  • 2001370.57ppm

  • 2002372.59ppm

  • 2003375.14ppm

  • 2004376.96ppm

  • 2005378.97ppm

  • 2006381.13ppm

  • 2007382.9ppm

  • 2008385.01ppm

  • 2009386.5ppm

  • 2010388.76ppm

  • 2011390.63ppm

  • 2012392.65ppm

  • 2013395.39ppm

  • 2014397.34ppm

  • 2015399.65ppm

  • 2016403.09ppm

  • 2017405.22ppm

  • 2018407.62ppm

  • 2019410.07ppm

  • 2020412.44ppm

  • 2021414.72ppm

  • 2022418.56ppm

  • 2023421.08ppm

News & Views

Swedish pension giant in the firing line over Saudi Aramco holding

Swedish pension fund AP7, which manages around $87.6bn in assets, has come under criticism from environmental campaigners over its investments in Saudi Aramco

The Swedish pension fund, which holds most of its assets in equities, has a position of SEK500m ($48m) in the Saudi oil giant.

Saudi Aramco is on the CA100+ focus list and has been flagged by the investor coalition as not having credible 2050 carbon reduction targets nor short-term targets. Its decarbonisation strategy and asset allocation has also come under fire.

The oil firm, which is largely state owned, made the headlines at the end of last year over its plans to expand oil production capacity to 13m barrels a day from 12m barrels a day over the next three years, despite a COP28 commitment to ‘transition away’ from fossil fuels. It is also launching new shale gas projects.

When approached by Net Zero Investor, AP7's chief ESG officer Johan Florén, explained that AP7's position is an existing commitment which the fund has held since Saudi Aramco was listed four years ago. “We have held holdings in line with its weight in our index, the MSCI ACWI. We buy all companies in ACWI, except for the companies we blacklist,” Florén said.

AP7, which is also a CA100+ member does indeed have a significant blacklist which as of December 2023 included a total of 106 companies, including multiple mining giants and coal producers. Anglo-Dutch oil firm Shell is also excluded, though due to its human rights violations in Nigeria, rather than its climate transition strategy.


Saudi Aramco is a clear example of a company with a large owner controlling the company that is challenging for active owners. In our view, however, this does not automatically make them hopeless cases.

Johan Florén, AP7

Ulf Erlandsson, CEO and founder of the Anthropocene Fixed Income Institute, argued that not divesting from Saudi Aramco represented a double standard: “We find the divestment list of AP7, when juxtaposed with their purchase of Aramco, quite confusing. Shell is excluded on environmental concerns - is Aramco a better climate aligned company than Shell? Walmart is excluded on labour rights concern - is Aramco better for unions compared to Walmart? BAE is excluded on weapons concerns - isn't BAE's supply of arms to Ukraine a better alignment for Swedish investors than Aramco's and KSA's alignment with Vladimir Putin?,” he questioned.

12/03/24, London | Asset owner knowledge sharing & due diligence

The debate around AP7's investment in Saudi Aramco takes place weeks after Norwegian investor KLP announced its divestment from the oil firm alongside a number of other firms in the Gulf over concerns about their energy transition strategy and human rights track record.

Florén said that he remains open to considering blacklisting Saudi Aramco: “If we could verify that the company violates our blacklisting criteria, for example in terms of human rights, environment or corruption, the company would be blacklisted. For the rest of our portfolio, we try to be active owners. Our fundamental belief is that companies all over the world need to change and that our most important contribution is as active owners,” he emphasised.

A key challenge on active ownership could be the fact that Saudi Aramco remains majority state owned, which severely limits the ability of investors such as AP7 to exercise influence.

“Saudi Aramco is a clear example of a company with a large owner controlling the company that is challenging for active owners. In our view, however, this does not automatically make them hopeless cases. For example, Saudi Aramco has gone from 'checking' 7 criteria four years ago to checking 11 out of 19 criteria in the Transition Pathway scoring system. So the picture is ambiguous and we haven't ruled out the company yet. Yet we have continuously raised the bar for many years, so they may still be blacklisted in the coming years,” he said.

Also read:

Pension giant KLP drops Aramco and other gulf assets

AP7's Johan Floren: placing biodiversity in the active consciousness of investors

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