WWF: Norway wastes another opportunity for financial leadership
“Norway failed expectations today. It won’t divest from coal – despite a majority support in Parliament for this – and the mandated evaluation of investments in infrastructure may actually result in more investments in fossil fuels rather than renewables,” she said.
This is in spite of last year’s displayed parliamentary majority to divest from coal companies. Today’s decision will now move forward into further levels of Parliamentary discussions and public hearings.
"Norway's government has said that it wants "robust and long-term management" for its sovereign wealth fund. In that case climate risk must be taken into account. That has not happened yet," said Samantha Smith, leader of WWF's global climate work.
The government also proposed the appointment of an Expert Group to review the potential for the Fund to invest in infrastructure for the first time. "We would like the government to make it clear that its new infrastructure investments will be about renewable energy and not fossil fuels. This is an opportunity for Norway to be a global leader and use this opportunity to invest 5 per cent of its fund in renewable energy," said Smith.
The Fund must divest from power companies that rely on more than 30 per cent of total electricity generation from coal. “Such a decision from Norway would have a positive impact on the global energy and financial markets and reinforce a trend that we see more and more countries. Here Norway could take leadership internationally, because we manage the world's largest fund,” says Lomelde.