(Bloomberg) -- One of The Netherlands’ largest pension funds said it will continue to invest in nine oil and gas companies — including Shell Plc and BP Plc  — while dropping dozens of others.

“We said goodbye to 40 companies,” Pensioenfonds Metaal & Techniek said in a statement. “The remaining companies are the most promising for PMT in this sector” and meet the fund’s requirement for a public commitment to net zero emissions by 2050.

PMT carried out an energy transition engagement program from 2021 to 2023 during which it asked companies in the oil and gas sector to set intermediate targets and adhere to a 1.5C pathway. The fund shed companies that didn’t sufficiently demonstrate a contribution to the energy transition, as well as firms that will produce more oil and gas at the end of the decade compared with 2019.

PMT’s statement came shortly after UN Secretary-General António Guterres said drastic action is needed to stem global warming and warned fossil fuel companies their “old road is rapidly aging,” at the opening of the COP28 climate talks in Dubai on Thursday. Large oil and gas companies have the capital, infrastructure and knowledge to invest in the energy transition, PMT Investment Director Hartwig Liersch said. 

“It is important that multinationals such as Shell, despite the fact that they are still moving slowly through the energy transition, are part of the solution,” Liersch said. He also highlighted companies such as Finnish refiner Neste Oyj for acting more quickly.

The decision comes after the much larger ABP fund in 2021 said that it would divest 15 billion euros worth of fossil-fuel assets by early 2023, prompting Shell’s then Chief Executive Officer Ben van Beurden to chastise long-term investors for running away from the company — which has historic roots in The Netherlands and at that time was still called Royal Dutch Shell — for the sake of “symbolism.”

PMT fund said it will continue to invest in Shell Plc, BP Plc, Aker BP ASA, Enbridge Inc., Eni SpA, Equinor ASA, Galp Energia SGPS SA, OMV AG and Neste.

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