Norwegian Government Allows GPFG to Continue Investing in Coal Pending Further Investigation

The Norwegian parliament struck down legislation that would exclude coal companies from the Government Pension Fund Global’s (GPFG) investment universe because of its impact on the environment. The sovereign wealth fund is already subject to ethical guidelines for investing, but recent pushes to ban fossil fuel investments have sparked heated debate.

Critics call the legislation hypocritical because Norway’s oil and gas reserves are the sole funding of GPFG, formerly known as the Petroleum Fund.

Norway’s Labor Party spearheaded the bill citing environmental concerns, but lost the support of the Christian Democrats and Liberals in favor of first researching the effect of banning investments in oil, gas and coal companies, according to Bloomberg. Several detractors of the proposal argue that excluding fossil fuel investments would cut funding for numerous companies that are trying to develop emission reducing technology.

The Labor Party intends to revise and resubmit the proposal later this year, Torstein Tvedt Solberg, a party legislator, told Bloomberg.

GPFG has ethical guidelines for investing in place and currently excludes certain weapon manufacturers (nuclear arms, anti-personnel land mines, and cluster munitions), tobacco producers and companies with poor human rights and environmental track records. [ Content protected for Sovereign Wealth Fund Institute Standard subscribers only. Please subscribe to view content. ]

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