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Researchers unveil searchable database of top private equity energy portfolios

February 7, 2024

Private Equity Climate Risks is launching the Private Equity Energy Tracker, the first-of-its-kind, searchable portal that provides a catalog of the energy holdings of eight of the top North American private equity firms: KKR, The Carlyle Group (NGP), Brookfield (Oaktree Capital), The Blackstone Group, TPG Capital, Warburg Pincus, Apollo Global Management, and Ares Management. Collectively, they hold around $4.3 trillion in assets under management (AUM). 

The private equity industry has been quietly expanding into the energy sector for decades, while fighting efforts to allow investors and the public from accessing the true scope of their ownership and influence. The Private Equity Energy Tracker will allow investors, climate campaigners, community members, journalists, and academics to investigate the role the private equity industry is playing in the continued production and distribution of fossil fuels. 

“The Private Equity Energy Tracker finally does what private equity firms refuse to do themselves: disclose their energy portfolios to the public,” said Amanda Mendoza, senior campaign and research coordinator at the Private Equity Stakeholder Project (PESP). “Private equity firms consistently limit disclosure of the extent of their energy portfolios to their investors and to the public. We hope that pension funds and other investors finally have the tools to realize the frightening risks their capital faces when exposed to these private equity-owned fossil fuel companies. These top private equity firms intentionally want their fossil fuel investments to remain shrouded in secrecy, but with the new Energy Tracker, the hidden risks of PE’s dirty investments are showcased for the world to see.”

The dataset reveals that during 2023 these major private equity firms were invested in at least 116 fossil fuel companies out of 184 energy companies overall, with Brookfield and The Carlyle Group owning the largest number of fossil fuel energy companies. The PE Energy Tracker shows that some of the most polluting fossil fuel projects in North America are owned and operated by the firms. This includes the Gen. James Gavin Power Plant in Ohio, one of the largest and top-emitting coal-fired power plants in the United States, and the Colonial Pipeline, the United States’ largest refined products pipeline. 

“We knew that private equity has been secretly expanding into the global energy sector, but this data has been truly eye-opening,” saidDustin Duong, research associate at Americans for Financial Reform Education Fund (AFREF). “It punctures their claim that they understand the urgency of the energy transition and the need to pivot to investments that can help solve the climate crisis. Until they stop supporting polluting industries, their claim of protecting communities, especially those in minority and low-income neighborhoods, will always ring hollow.” 

Besides the United States, these firms have sizable investments in at least 17 different countries spanning both developed markets such as Canada and the United Kingdom as well as emerging economies including India and Brazil. 

“The Private Equity Energy Tracker will allow deeper investigation into the ownership of these energy companies and their assets,” said Alyssa Moore, researcher at Global Energy Monitor (GEM). “Curious about the energy holdings of a specific private equity firm, or the ownership of a particular energy company? This database can be a place to start.”

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