World’s richest sovereign wealth fund to divest from coal | WWF

World’s richest sovereign wealth fund to divest from coal

Posted on 28 May 2015    
Climate Finance
© Shutterstock / Leung Cho Pan / WWF
(Gland, Switzerland 28 May 2015) – Norway’s sovereign wealth fund - the world’s richest at US$900bn – will be instructed to divest from companies with more than 30 per cent of their activities in coal extraction or coal power, according to a decision from the Norwegian Parliament’s Finance Committee yesterday.
A vote by the full Norwegian Parliament, scheduled for 5 June, is likely to confirm this decision, which was supported by all political parties in Norway.
Samantha Smith, leader of WWF’s Global Climate and Energy Initiative says “This decision about the world’s biggest sovereign wealth fund follows a series of announcements from major investors that they will divest from coal or reduce their financing for it. These include AXA, Bank of America and Crédit Agricole.”
Investors have clearly understood that coal is a bad financial investment, in addition to its role as the major cause of climate change. Reasons for divestment include both ethical issues and structural decline in the coal market. The latter is related to new restrictions on the use of coal, primarily in China. But regardless of the reasons, the divestment movement has shown that it can reshape the way that investors, governments and the public see fossil fuels. WWF, along with many other organizations, campaigned for this decision in Norway.
“This milestone in Norway sets a high bar for politicians meeting in Bonn in June for the UN climate talks and in Germany for the G7. They must be sure that their ambition for the new global climate deal, to be agreed in December, leads and does not lag what is happening in the financial sector. Another world of rapid, ambitious climate action is possible. We hope that these divestment decisions strengthen government resolve,” she says.
For further information, contact:
Mandy Jean Woods / @MandyJeanWoods  / +27 72 393 0027
Sam Smith  / @pandaclimate / +47 450 22 149
About WWF - WWF's mission is to stop the degradation of the earth's natural environment and to build a future in which humans live in harmony with nature. The Global Climate & Energy Initiative (GCEI) is WWF’s global programme addressing climate change, promoting renewable and sustainable energy, scaling up green finance, engaging the private sector and working nationally and internationally on implementing low carbon, climate resilient development.
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