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Oslo, Norway — 350.org welcomes the Norwegian government’s announcement that mandates the country’s sovereign wealth fund to invest in renewable energy but calls on Norway to stop investments in fossil fuels.
350.org co-founder Bill McKibben said, “Even those nations that made their fortune on oil are starting to see it’s not the future – the race to the exits is starting.”
Norway’s sovereign wealth fund valued at $840 billion USD is the world’s biggest investment fund, into which the country has put most of its proceeds from oil and gas. It owns 1.2% of the world’s listed stocks. Decisions on the fund’s investments can therefore have global implications.
350.org European Divestment Coordinator Tim Ratcliffe commented, “It’s great that the world’s biggest investment fund is moving more money into renewables but there is little point if they’re spending huge sums of money digging up more fossil fuels at the same time.”
“The fund’s remit is to make investments that benefit future generations. In the past it has excluded harmful industries such as nuclear weapon producers and tobacco companies from its portfolio. To stay below 2 °C global warming – a target Norway has committed to – 80% of the fossil fuel industry’s known carbon reserves need to stay underground. Leadership from Norway by quickly divesting from fossil fuels and diverting that money towards renewables, is what we need to see right now,” Ratcliffe added.
The Norwegian Parliament has set up a an expert group to assess whether the fund should phase out investments in coal, oil and gas, which currently represent 10% of the fund’s value.