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Created before Nov 2016
Last update: 2020-02-05 12:57:42
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Fortum is a Finnish company that operates coal power plants in Finland, Poland and Russia. Due to its stakes in Uniper, the company is one of the EU's worst emitters of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. Uniper's operations are linked to hundreds of premature deaths annually in Europe, and set back efforts to slow down climate change.
Fortum, established in 1998, is a Finnish company engaged in the generation and sale of electricity and heat, and operation and maintenance of power plants, as well as energy-related services. The company operates in Finland, Sweden, Norway, the Russian Federation, Poland, Lithuania, Latvia, Estonia, India and the United Kingdom, among others. Fortum owns 49.99% of German energy company Uniper.
Keilalahdentie 2-4, CD building
Pekka Lundmark |
listed on Helsinki Stock Exchange
Fortum is majority owned by the Finnish Government (50.76%). Fortum's complete shareholder structure can be accessed here.
Uniper – Germany
Human rights and social issues
Public health Because of its stakes in Uniper, Fortum is one of ten European electricity producers emitting the most GHG emissions in 2017. This top ten is to blame for two-thirds of the health damage caused by coal power plants. This includes an estimated 7,600 premature deaths annually, based on WHO health impact assessments for air pollution.
The process of burning coal emits several hazardous air pollutants that can spread over hundreds of kilometres. Exposure to the pollutants emitted can have several health impacts, from respiratory problems to heart diseases to an increased risk of lung cancer. People that already suffer health issues are impacted most by these pollutants. Besides burning coal, the mining and transporation of coal, as well as the disposal of coal ash waste, have negative impacts on the health of human beings.
GHG emissions As Fortum is one of ten European electricity producers emitting the most GHG emissions, the company contributes negatively to climate change. The emissions of Uniper's coal plants alone equal half of Finland's annual emissions.
Coal emissions are the biggest contributors to climate change. In order to avoid climate breakdown, Europe needs to be coal free by 2030. End Coal reports that to have a 50% chance of staying within 2 degrees celsius of global warming, only zero carbon utilities and infrastructure should be developed after 2017. As this is definitely not happening, time is running out for companies to get out of coal. Fortum should change Uniper's course sooner rather than later.
Applicable norms and standards
Seventeen banks have provided Fortum with credit facilities totalling EUR 1.75 billion (Fortum Financial report, 2018, p.52). See below for a specified overview.