Private equity firm The Carlyle Group is under fire for not disclosing its largest oil and gas investment in its report on financial risk from emissions. A recent story from AP called into question Carlyle’s disclosure of its climate impacts, even during a time when the global climate crisis is worsening. This year, Carlyle released a report detailing its financial risk related to greenhouse gas emissions but mysteriously did not disclose their largest oil and gas investment, NGP.
AP September 26, 2022: Emissions declarations by equity firm Carlyle under question
Now, Carlyle has a history of such omissions in their public pledge to be a net zero company by 2050. PESP recently investigated the relationship between Carlyle and its subsidiary NGP, especially as Carlyle still claims “funds focused on investing in carbon-based energy (“Carbon Energy Funds”) remain a significant part of our business.” A look into Carlyle’s portfolio shows the firm has among the largest fossil fuel portfolios compared to other large private equity buyout firms, with at least 68 fossil fuel companies.
In the AP story, PESP executive director Jim Baker said Carlyle should be “honest and transparent” with both the public and investors about its “full emissions and role in contributing to the climate crisis.”
Carlyle has pushed back against the data, touting its net zero pledge and minimizing the amount of profit NGP provides them.However, Jim Baker told AP that this was “not good enough”
AP also reported that:
“At the beginning of 2022, Carlyle had around $24 billion invested in fossil fuels, according to the Private Equity Stakeholder Project. The organization found Carlyle and NGP combined controlled scores of fossil fuel companies, more than any other large private equity firm. Carlyle told the AP it controlled management and policies of six hydrocarbon companies directly.”
Baker emphasized the urgency of the need for these PE firms to divest from fossil fuels. “Given their massive fossil fuel exposure, private equity firms like Carlyle have an urgent responsibility to address the significant role they play in propelling the climate crisis,” he said.
PESP has been active in showing how The Carlyle Group has one of the largest fossil fuel portfolios of the major PE firms. This year, along with Americans for Financial Reform Education Fund, PESP released a climate risks scorecard and report that listed Carlyle as the worst fossil fuel offender. The firm received an F grade in the scorecard.
An ongoing campaign called CleanUp Carlyle focuses on Carlyle’s chairman DAvid Rubenstein and his attempts to greenwash his fossil fuel reputation by donating millions to the world’s most prestigious cultural institutions and universities and sitting on their boards. CleanUp Carlyle has worked to show these institutions the importance of dropping David Rubenstein from leadership positions.
To visit the new Private Equity Climate Risks Scorecard and report, visit PEClimateRisks.org.