Investing in coal? Norway says no way
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.
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