Peter Branner, APG’s CIOOne of its goals for 2030 is to cease investing in coal for power plants without carbon capture in OECD countries, while reducing its stake in non-OECD members.APG’s CIO explained that the decision to distinguish between OECD and non-OECD countries in its divestment plans for thermal coal, was based on the readiness of the markets to adopt its sustainability policy and what was practicably possible.He added that the OECD area comprises by far the largest proportion of ABP’s stake in coal-fired power plants.ABP’s sustainability targets also include tailor-made investments in digital solutions aimed at increased efficiency in the use of natural resources and combating climate change.It said it will establish additional climate criteria for companies in the portfolio, in addition to criteria to assess firms on how they use natural resources.According to Branner, ABP’s sustainability policy will include a thematic approach, addressing climate change, protection of natural resources and digitisation of society with the prerequisite that companies should respect human rights.He added that the allocation to clean energy will be raised from more than €5bn to €15bn.“Intermediate steps will be needed to ensure that the goals will be achieved”Peter Branner, chief investment officer at APGABP has already started an energy transition fund to invest in companies and startups focusing on sustainable energy in the Netherlands. The investment fund has already attracted €275m of commitments by five other of APG’s pension fund clients, including BpfBouw, the scheme for the building sector, said Branner.He added that the first €50m allocation had been made.ABP said it will increase its stake in companies that contribute to digital value creation and solutions against climate change and commodity scarcity, and that it would also come up with criteria to establish whether firms respect digital rights.As part of its plan to invest 20% of its assets in SDGs, the civil service scheme said it will work on the necessary standards among investors, and will increase its engagement with firms about human rights and labour conditions.Branner highlighted that APG and its client need to monitor the impact of the decisions and will need time to implement all goals. “Intermediate steps will be needed to ensure that the goals will be achieved,” he said.He highlighted, however, that every investment decision will keep on being judged against the criteria of return, risk, costs and sustainability, and that no compromise will be made on ABP’s return requirements. The latter translates into a €35bn increase to €93bn.Commenting on ABP’s goals, Peter Branner, chief investment officer at APG, the asset manager for ABP, confirmed to IPE that the fund’s targets were largely a prolongation of the aims that had been set in 2015.As for the additional carbon reduction target of 15 percentage points for its entire equity portfolio, he said the first 25% have been “more or less low hanging fruit”. The €465bn Dutch civil service scheme ABP has announced plans for its investment portfolio to be carbon neutral by 2050. This vision was part of a five-year plan for its sustainability policy, which was launched this morning.The largest pension fund in the Netherlands said it now wants to divest from companies with majority holdings in coal mines and tar sands.It also plans to reduce the carbon footprint of its equity holdings by an additional 15 percentage points, to 40% in 2025, relative to 2015.It is also aiming to invest €15bn in sustainable and affordable energy and to allocate 20% of its entire assets to the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) in the next five years.
SAM 7 January 2015Smart Approaches to Marijuana (SAM), the non-partisan marijuana policy group comprised of leading scientists from around the country, released Lessons After Two Years of Marijuana Legalization – Short Report today. The report outlines both what data we know – and what we need to know – to accurately evaluate the consequences and costs of marijuana legalization in Washington and Colorado. SAM is advised by a respected group of scientists and its Honorary Board includes former Congressman Patrick J. Kennedy and former speechwriter David Frum. See the report here.“Two years after legalization was voted on, we are still waiting for robust tracking mechanisms from the states of Colorado and Washington, and the federal government,” remarked Sabet. “We have 100 kinds of marijuana gummy bears out there, but no way to find out what the costs of such a policy are. It defies any definition of ‘experiment,’ which presumes a proper scientific evaluation.”Though it is too early to firm up final conclusions, there are concerns in 2015 we cannot ignore after two full years of legalized possession and one year of legalized retail sales. The report outlines these concerns, such as:· Past-year and past-month marijuana use by all ages exceeds the national average in both Washington State and Colorado. Marijuana use in both these states has risen significantly between 2011-2012 and 2012-2013.· The number of burn victims in Colorado from hash oil explosions has significantly increased since legalization.· Between 2008 and 2011, an average of 4 children (between the ages of 3 and 7) were sent to the ER for unintentional marijuana ingestion. In 2013, 8 children went to the Colorado Children’s hospital. As of the first half of 2014, at least 14 children have already been sent to the ER.· The number of marijuana citations given for public or underage use has skyrocketed in Denver and Aurora versus last year.· According to the Washington Poison Center, “the selling of cannabis for recreational purposes became legalized in the state of Washington on July 7th, 2014. As a direct result, the Washington Poison Center (WAPC) has encountered an increase in the number of human exposures related to accidental or excessive consumption/inhalation of marijuana and marijuana edibles, particularly among pediatrics.”· Contaminant testing in Washington finds that 13% of pot and THC-infused products contain mold, salmonella, and E. coli. Colorado has not begun such testing yet.· A marijuana-focused private equity firm, Privateer Holdings in partnership with the descendants of Bob Marley, have created a multinational cannabis brand called Marley Natural. Investors have already raised $50 million to launch Marley Natural.The report also outlines what we do not know, and asks states to track both the consequences of legalization and the economic costs of legalization. The report was compiled by SAM and its scientific advisory board, which includes Hoover Adger, MD, Professor of Pediatrics and Director of Adolescent Medicine, Johns Hopkins University; Eden Evins, MD, MPH, Associate Professor of Psychiatry, Harvard Medical School; Stuart Gitlow, MD, MPH, MBA, President, American Society of Addiction Medicine; Sion Harris, PhD, Center for Adolescent Substance Abuse Research, Children’s Hospital Boston; Sharon Levy, MD, MPH, Assistant Professor of Pediatrics, Harvard Medical School; Kimber Richter, MD, PhD, Professor of Preventive Medicine and Public Health, University of Kansas; Paula Riggs, MD, Associate Professor of Psychiatry, University of Colorado at Denver; Christian Thurstone, MD, Associate Professor of Psychiatry, University of Colorado; Kathryn Wells, MD, Associate Professor of Pediatrics, University of Colorado at Denver.http://learnaboutsam.org/short-report-lessons-two-years-legalization/