Norwegian FinMin: Sovereign Wealth Fund is Not a Political Tool

The Norwegian Ministry of Finance issued a press release stating the Norwegian Government Pension Fund Global (GPFG) is “a financial investor, not a political policy tool.” Tensions have flared in the media and political scene, as the debate moves toward what Norway’s sovereign wealth fund should do when it comes to the environment and climate change. Green activists and some politicians demand the fund should divest from all coal or oil companies. Norway’s sovereign wealth fund is funded by government oil & gas income among other sources.

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Norway is one of the few sovereign wealth funds that has a policy toward ESG principles. Green activist groups continue to put political pressure on the Norwegian government to forward their agenda.

In response, the Norwegian government has approached an “Expert Group” on how the institutional investor can tackle the issue of gas emissions from fossil fuel companies. In addition, the group will analyze whether ownership exclusion is more effective than exercising shareholder rights to affect change with the company.

Profile: Norway’s sovereign wealth fund

Norway’s sovereign wealth fund invests in over 8,000 companies.

The Ministry of Finance reiterated in the press release, “The management objective of the GPFG is to maximise its long-term international purchasing power. This is the fundamental basis for the investment strategy. It rests on a premise both of inter-generational equality and saving for future government expenditure, and of avoiding over-heating of today’s domestic economy.”

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