Norway to curb investments in coal-based firms

Funds from the country’s sovereign wealth fund will not go to companies that draw more than 30 per cent of their revenue or power from coal

 
By DTE Staff
Last Updated: Saturday 04 July 2015

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In a unanimous decision, the finance committee of the Norwegian Parliament has recommended divesting the country’s sovereign wealth fund from the coal industry. The recommendation came on May 27. In February this year, 114 companies were removed from the portfolio of Government Pension Fund Global (GPFG) because of the risks the companies faced from regulatory action on climate change.

The Norwegian GPFG is not only the world’s largest sovereign wealth fund but also one of the top ten investors in the global coal industry.

The recommendation asks the government to exclude companies deriving more than 30 per cent of their revenues or their power production from coal. It will be formally adopted by the Parliament on June 5.

“It is a happy coincidence that this is World Environment Day,” said Arild Hermstad from The Future in our Hands, a Norwegian non-profit. “Coal is bad for all aspects of our environment: it destroys landscapes, contaminates water resources, pollutes the air and is the number one threat for our climate. Such investments are not in line with the values of Norwegian society, and the unanimous vote of the Finance Committee means that this is now recognized across all party lines,” Hermstad said.

Member of parliament Torstein Tvedt Solberg of the Labour Party, who helped broker the agreement, said: “I am pleased that all parties have agreed to withdraw the pension fund from coal. This is a great victory for our climate.”

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