It’s Thursday, May 14, and one of the world’s largest wealth funds blacklisted some companies over coal.
Norway’s sovereign wealth fund, a state-owned investment reserve worth $1 trillion, just made big moves on the climate chessboard by excluding some of the world’s biggest commodity companies from its portfolio due to excessive use and production of coal.
The move comes at the direction of Norway’s parliament, which last year instructed the fund to divest from companies that mined more than 20 million metric tons of coal or generated more than 10 gigawatts of power from coal annually.
The sovereign fund, known as the Government Pension Fund Global, held stocks worth roughly $1.6 billion in such companies at the end of 2019. The newly blacklisted companies include the British commodity and mining company Glencore, the South African petrochemical giant Sasol, and the German utility RWE. Other companies have been warned that they could be excluded from the fund in the future if they don’t get their coal addiction under control.
What’s more, the fund announced that it was also barring four Canadian oil companies for emitting excessive amounts of greenhouse gases from oil sands operations. The fund held $1.15 billion worth of stock in these companies at the end of 2019. More types of carbon-polluting companies, such as concrete and steel firms, may soon follow, according to Reuters.
The Atlantic hurricane season doesn’t officially start for another two weeks, but this year’s first named storm could be forming north of the Bahamas. If it does, it’ll be the sixth year in a row that a named storm has developed ahead of hurricane season. Meanwhile, the first named storm of the Pacific typhoon season, Typhoon Vongfong, is headed for the Philippines.
The pandemic is crushing America’s clean energy industry. The sector lost nearly half a million jobs in April, following the loss of almost 150,000 jobs in March (updated from a previous estimate of 106,000). Most of the job losses were in energy efficiency, followed by renewables and electric vehicles.
One-third of the U.S. population — 118 million Americans — will experience at least one extreme weather event every year by 2050 if greenhouse gas emissions continue at their current pace, according to data from the Energy Department. For comparison, 47 million Americans experience extreme weather annually now.