Campaigners from the Toxic Bonds Network congregated outside and attended inside of abrdn’s Annual General Meeting (AGM) in Edinburgh, Scotland to inform shareholders and clients about abrdn’s fossil fuel bond investments, and call on the asset manager to deny new debt to companies expanding fossil fuel projects.
Campaigners handed out flyers and talked to shareholders as they entered abrdn’s AGM while Buskers performed classic songs with new lyrics about abrdn’s fossil fuel bondholdings.
Turning out to abrdn’s AGM marks the launch of actions targeting abrdn for its role in financing the climate crisis. The Edinburgh headquartered asset manager with 513 bill GBP of assets under management, has significant exposure to the bonds of egregious coal developers and is one of the few European asset managers that still hasn’t published a coal exclusion policy.
Abrdn has no policy to stop new, or phase out existing, investments in coal, oil or gas. Currently, the asset manager holds $1.16 billion in bonds of companies expanding fossil fuels.
Abrdn holds million of dollars in Adani Group bonds, making the asset manager one of the largest investors in the bonds of the world’s largest private coal developer. In fact, abrdn ranks 12th among a list of top Adani bond holders that otherwise comprises large US-based investors such as BlackRock, TIAA and PIMCO. Adani has been exposed for expanding coal, fuelling climate devastation and committing human rights violations. Now, allegations by Hindenburg Research – revealing “one of the largest corporate frauds in history” – undermines investor confidence that proceeds from Adani’s planned green issues would be adequately ringfenced.
Campaigners are calling on abrdn to immediately deny new debt to companies expanding fossil fuel projects and divest existing bond holdings, including in passive funds, from fossil fuel companies that do not have adequate phase out plans in line with 1.5C.
“Abrdn is taking advantage of the bond market to fund coal, oil and gas expansion. Investing in the likes of Adani Group is inexcusable and begs to question whether abrdn is exercising its due diligence and performing in its investors and clients best interest. To turn the business around, abrdn’s CEO Stephen Bird must step up and show clients and shareholders that it’s protecting their long term investments by excluding risky coal developers,”
-Alice Delemare Tangpuori, Coordinator of the Toxic Bonds Network.