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Will Private Equity Giants Follow Apollo in Shunning Fossil Fuels from Their Flagship Funds?

In January, Bloomberg reported that private equity giant Apollo Global Management, with $481 billion in assets under management, is pledging not to invest in fossil fuels in its next flagship buyout fund (See “Apollo to Shun Fossil-Fuel Investments in Next Buyout Fund”).[1]

This follows private equity firm Warburg Pincus, which in 2020 reportedly told investors that it would not make any deals linked to fossil fuels from its next flagship fund.[2]

Earlier this week, the Private Equity Stakeholder Project sent letters to several other large buyout and infrastructure managers asking whether they would follow Apollo’s lead and commit to not invest their flagship funds in fossil fuel-linked assets:

Letter to Ares Management

Letter to Blackstone Group

Letter to Brookfield

Letter to Carlyle Group

Letter to CVC Capital

Letter to Global Infrastructure Partners

Letter to KKR

Letter to Oaktree Capital

Letter to TPG Capital

Last October the Private Equity Stakeholder Project released a report, Private Equity Propels the Climate Crisis, which noted that these firms collectively own hundreds of fossil fuel companies.[3]

“The shale boom and bust and the early parts of the Covid-19 pandemic created losses for the private equity industry. Five of the nine natural resources investments Apollo made in its 2013 fund were losing money as of the end of the third quarter,” Bloomberg reported of Apollo’s decision not to invest its new flagship fund in fossil fuels.[4]

In August 2021, the report by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) highlighted the costs of inaction, detailed the devastating impacts of climate change around the world, and underscored that we are running out of time to tackle this crisis.[5]

The International Energy Agency’s Net Zero by 2050 pathway calls for no new fossil fuel projects to be developed, and for intense focus on emissions reduction for all existing operations.[6]

A year ago, the Private Equity Stakeholder Project and a number of environmental and environmental justice groups including The Sierra Club and Greenpeace sent letters to many of the same firms asking them to transition their energy portfolios away from fossil fuels by 2030, to support a just and equitable transition for workers and communities impacted by their fossil fuel investments, and to disclose how the firms’, their executives’, and their portfolio companies’ political spending aligned with the Paris Climate Accords.


[1] “Apollo to Shun Fossil-Fuel Investments in Next Buyout Fund,” Bloomberg, Jan 21, 2022, https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2022-01-21/apollo-plans-to-shun-fossil-fuel-investments-in-next-buyout-fund.

[2] “Warburg Pincus Dials Back Investing in Oil and Gas,” Wall Street Journal, Jul 22, 2020, https://www.wsj.com/articles/warburg-pincus-dials-back-investing-in-oil-and-gas-11595371983.

[3]https://pestakeholder.org/wp-content/uploads/2021/10/PESP_SpecialReport_ClimateCrisis_Oct2021_Final.pdf

[4] “Apollo to Shun Fossil-Fuel Investments in Next Buyout Fund,” Bloomberg, Jan 21, 2022, https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2022-01-21/apollo-plans-to-shun-fossil-fuel-investments-in-next-buyout-fund.

[5]https://www.ipcc.ch/report/ar6/wg1/

[6]https://www.iea.org/reports/net-zero-by-2050

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