Norway’s Government Pension Fund Global (GPFG), worth $850bn (£556bn) and world’s biggest sovereign wealth fund was founded on the nation’s oil and gas wealth. It revealed a total of 114 companies had been dumped on environmental and climate grounds in its first report on responsible investing, released on Thursday. The companies divested include tar sands producers, cement makers and gold miners.
As part of a fast-growing campaign, over $50bn in fossil fuel company stocks have been divested by 180 organisations on the basis that their business models are incompatible with the pledge by the world’s governments to tackle global warming. But the GPFG is the highest profile institution to divest to date.
A series of analyses have shown that only a quarter of known and exploitable fossil fuels can be burned if temperatures are to be kept below 2C, the internationally agreed danger limit. Bank of England governor Mark Carney,World Bank president Jim Yong Kim and others have warned investors that action on climate change would leave many current fossil fuel assets worthless.
“Our risk-based approach means that we exit sectors and areas where we see elevated levels of risk to our investments in the long term,” said Marthe Skaar, spokeswoman for GPFG, which has $40bn invested in fossil fuel companies. “Companies with particularly high greenhouse gas emissions may be exposed to risk from regulatory or other changes leading to a fall in demand.”
She said GPFG had divested from 22 companies because of their high carbon emissions: 14 coal miners, five tar sand producers, two cement companies and one coal-based electricity generator. In addition, 16 coal miners linked to deforestation in Indonesia and India were dumped, as were two US coal companies involved in mountain-top removal.
Information about the GPFG
GPFG Report on Sustainable Investing
GPFG Consultation with Experts on Investments in Coal and Petroleum Companies
Guardian news article : World’s biggest sovereign wealth fund dumps dozens of coal companies