Norges Bank Investment Management, which manages Norway’s sovereign wealth fund, has made a powerful stance in favor of climate action.
Canada’s Prime Minister, Justin Trudeau, said the news of one of the world’s largest investment funds excluding four Canadian oil sands producers from consideration for investment is part of a continuing shift in global attitudes for which oil companies will have to adjust.
— CBC Business (@CBCBusiness) May 13, 2020
For those who don’t know how important this is, Norges Bank isn’t just the central bank of Norway, it manages The Government Pension Fund of Norway and a stabilization fund that is noted to be the world’s largest sovereign wealth fund.
The Canadian oil companies that Norges Bank will stop investing in are:
- Canadian Natural Resources Ltd.
- Cenovus Energy Inc.
- Suncor Energy Inc.
- Imperial Oil Ltd.
This news comes after the bank concluded the companies were producing unacceptable levels of greenhouse gas emissions. “We’ve seen investors around the world looking at the risks associated with climate change as an integral part of investment decisions they make. That is why it is so important for Canada to continue to move forward on fighting climate change and reduce our emissions in all sectors,” Prime Minister Trudeau said as a response to a reporter’s question. “I can highlight that many companies in the energy sector have understood that the investment climate is shifting and there is a need for clear leadership and clear targets to reach on fighting climate change to draw on global capital.”
Three other companies that Norges Bank excluded are Egypt’s Elsewedy Electric Company, Brazilian iron ore miner Vale SA, and Brazilian power holding company Eletrobras. These were excluded due to their contributions toward severe environmental damage. The fund also dropped Switzerland-based Glencore, UK-based Anglo American Plc, Germany’s RWE AG, South African petrochemicals firm Sasol, and Dutch company AGL Energy.
The bank’s stance has made a powerful statement in favor of those advocating the fight against climate change. And, as we say in the South, money talks. It will be an interesting conversation, for sure — and one that will help other companies embrace clean energy.
As you can see in the chart at the top, 70% of new vehicles sold in Norway in April were electric vehicles. Perhaps Norway also sees that there will be little money to make in the oil industry before long and it’s better to divest from the doomed sector before others do.
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