Geert Ritsema, Milieudefensie +31 20 550 7349
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Dutch citizens invested 1.6 billion euro's in extremely polluting oil production from tar sands via their pension funds. This was revealed last Monday in a report published by Friends of the Earth Netherlands. By investing in the tar sands, Dutch pension funds finance the emission of extra greenhouse gases and the destruction of Canadian primal forests. Unwittingly many Dutch invest in this unsustainable way of producing oil.
Tar sands are areas where heavy oil is mixed with sand and water. This type of oil is far more difficult to extract than conventional oil, so production costs more energy and therefore more CO2 emissions. The production of gasoline from tar sand costs three times as much CO2 then normal oil production. Enormous areas are strip mined to access the tar sand or are criss-crossed with pipelines that destroy the primal forests. Oil production from tar sands produces enormous quantities of oily sludge residue. This sludge is stored in enormous lakes.
Pension fund investments
The research report, written by consultancy Profundo, also concludes that investments in tar sands are at this moment only 0.2 percent of the total investment portfolio of Dutch pension funds. It is therefore not a big deal for the funds to stop this type of investments.
Stop investing in extreme pollution
Previous research by Friends of the Earth Europe showed that oil multinationals such as Shell, plan to increase the percentage of tar sands and other types of heavy or difficult oil production. Friends of the Earth therefore emphasizes that now is the moment to act. It is still possible to change course. "We call on pension funds and oil
companies to stop investing in this type of extreme pollution and to put our money in sustainable energy.", said Geert Ritsema, spokesperson for Friends of the Earth Netherlands.