By Gwladys Fouche
OSLO (Reuters) - Sweden's largest national pension fund, AP7, has sold its investments in six companies it accuses of breaching the Paris climate agreement, in a decision environmentalists believe is the first of its kind.
AP7, which provides pensions to 3.5 million Swedes, said on Thursday it had sold out of ExxonMobil, Gazprom, TransCanada Corp, Westar, Entergy and Southern Corp, and would no longer invest in companies that operate in breach of the Paris climate deal.
"Since the last screening in December 2016, the Paris agreement to the U.N. Climate Convention is one of the norms we include in our analysis," the company said in a statement.
AP7 said ExxonMobil, Westar, Southern Corp and Entergy had fought against introducing climate legislation in the United States. It also criticized Gazprom for looking for oil in the Russian Arctic and TransCanada for building large scale pipelines in North America.
None of the companies were immediately available for comment.
Environmental campaigners welcomed the decision and called on other investors to follow suit.
"Responsible investments are key for the world to reach the goals in the Paris agreement, and AP7's action today is an important step in the right direction," said Martin Norman, the head of Greenpeace Nordic's Sustainable Finance Campaign
"We expect other global investors, like the Norwegian wealth fund, to do the same," he told Reuters, adding AP7's decision was the first known divestment by an investor based on the Paris agreement.
Norway's $950-billion sovereign wealth fund, the world's largest, has ethical ambitions. Its CEO told Reuters on June 2 the fund would ask the banks in which it has invested to disclose how their lending contributes to greenhouse gas emissions.
(Editing by Mark Potter)