Private equity is buying up excessive amounts of fossil fuel assets – oil wells, pipelines, power plants, operating them out of the public eye and exploiting gaps and loopholes in regulation.
The billions of dollars private equity firms are spending to drill, frack, and burn fossil fuels stand in stark contrast to what scientists say is necessary to avoid catastrophic climate change. The health and well-being of communities of color are particularly affected by the environmental harms of their polluting fossil fuel assets right now.
To make matters worse, private equity is investing in climate chaos using the retirement money of millions of workers – including teachers, nurses, and firefighters in public service jobs – putting the retirement savings of ordinary people at risk as society seeks to move beyond fossil fuels to a clean energy economy.
As other financial actors like banks, insurance companies or utilities attempt to shed polluting assets, private equity asset managers have bought them and operated these fossil fuel assets out of the public eye and beyond the oversight of financial regulators.
Private equity firms have invested over
in energy since 2010, with the lion’s share in fossil fuels
Ten of the largest private equity buyout firms have
of their energy portfolios in fossil fuels
Eight private equity firms collectively hold around
in energy, similar to the top 5 banks' fossil fuel financing last year
In 2020, Blackstone’s power plants produced
18.1 million metric tons
of CO2 emissions – equivalent to the annual emissions of nearly 4 million gas-powered vehicles
Power plants owned by The Carlyle Group emitted
10.8 million metric tons
of CO2 in 2020
Scorecard and Report
This scorecard reveals the top eight private equity firms invested in oil and gas and includes a set of demands to hold private equity accountable. The firms analyzed in the scorecard are The Carlyle Group, Warburg Pincus, KKR, Brookfield Asset Management, Ares Management, Apollo Global Management, The Blackstone Group, and TPG.
Demands for Private Equity
Society cannot afford to let private equity continue to pollute under the shroud of darkness and put people’s retirement at risk. The policymakers and regulators who govern financial markets, as well as private equity’s investors, must require comprehensive disclosures and plans to transition out of fossil fuels.
Align with Science-Based Climate Targets To Limit Global Warming To 1.5⁰C
Disclose Fossil Fuel Exposure, Emissions, and Impacts
Report Portfolio-Wide Energy Transition Plan
Integrate Climate And Environmental Justice
Provide Transparency On Political Spending And Climate Lobbying
This report was researched, written, and edited jointly by researchers at
The Private Equity Stakeholder Project is a nonprofit organization with a mission to identify, engage, and connect stakeholders affected by private equity with the goal of engaging investors and empowering communities, working families, and others impacted by private equity investments.
Americans for Financial Reform Education Fund is a nonprofit, nonpartisan coalition of more than 200 civil rights, community-based, consumer, labor, small business, investor, faith-based, civic groups, and individual experts. It was founded in the wake of the 2008 financial crisis and its mission is to fight to create a financial system that deconstructs inequality and systemic racism and promotes a just and sustainable economy.