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Norway’s oil fund backs more focus on climate change at BP, Shell

Posted on 16 April 2015 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Norway’s oil fund, the world’s biggest sovereign wealth fund, said on Wednesday it would back a proposal from shareholders of BP and Royal Dutch Shell for further information from the companies on risks and opportunities associated with climate change.
The $885 billion Fund, which invests revenues from Norway’s offshore oil and gas production, disclosed its voting intentions for the first time ahead of the companies’ shareholders meeting, in line with its previously announced strategy to increase transparency………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Go greener: Norway to clean up sovereign wealth fund

Posted on 13 April 2015 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Norway said Friday it would bar its state pension fund, the world’s biggest sovereign wealth fund, from investing in the worst climate-polluting companies. In its annual white book on managing the fund, the right-wing government proposed to “introduce a new criterion to exclude companies whose conduct to an unacceptable degree entail greenhouse gas emissions.”
The proposal did not mention any companies by name. The new rule is in line with experts’ recommendations in a December report, though its conclusions had left environmentalists and the political opposition disappointed………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Norway Opposition Pushes for Sovereign Fund to Exit Coal

Posted on 13 April 2015 by VRS  |  Email |Print

A six-party majority in Norway’s parliament aims to negotiate a deal that would force the country’s sovereign-wealth fund to divest from coal this year, against the advice of the minority government, the parties’ spokesmen told The Wall Street Journal on Friday.
Parliament was expected to decide last year to ban the $885 billion fund from investing in coal-intensive companies, but postponed it, pending a review of the fund’s climate strategies. The review and the government advised against coal divestment, but spokesmen from all six opposition parties said Friday that they were still ready to discuss the move………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Norway seeks more oversight, green investments at wealth fund

Posted on 13 April 2015 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Norway wants to increase oversight at its $885bn sovereign wealth fund, consider investments in more real assets and expand the fund’s environmental mandate, the government said on Friday.
The fund has become one of the biggest investors in the world, and it needs increased control after a period of exceptional growth, the government said in a series of proposals. It may also need to diversify its portfolio of investment. Managed by the central bank, the fund now holds $170,000 for each of Norway’s 5.16-million people and owns more than 1% of global shares with holdings in more than 9,000 companies………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Norwegian oil fund adopts ‘broad criteria’ for climate change exclusion

Posted on 13 April 2015 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Norway’s sovereign wealth fund is to introduce a criteria-based exclusion policy to divest from companies that make an “unacceptable” contribution to greenhouse gas emissions, the government has announced. Adopting the recommendations of a report and consultation, the Norwegian Finance Ministry said the exclusion policy would work alongside a strengthening of its engagement.
The NOK6.4trn (€706bn) Government Pension Fund Global (GPFG) will introduce a “conduct-based exclusion criterion” that looks at the acts and emissions of a company that consist of greenhouse gases, divesting when it becomes unacceptable………………………………………..Full Article: Source

UK’s ‘first’ offshore wind investment fund attracts English councils and Abu Dhabi

Posted on 02 April 2015 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Abu Dhabi’s sovereign wealth fund and two English local authority pension funds have invested a total of £263m in a new dedicated offshore wind fund established by the Green Investment Bank (GIB), BusinessGreen understands. The GIB confirmed today that it had closed the first £463m stage of fundraising for its new offshore wind venture, which includes £200m from the GIB and £263m of private capital.
BusinessGreen has learned that the Abu Dhabi Investment Authority (AIDA) and two English local authority pension funds contributed the private capital. They are expected to make immediate returns on their investments because the GIB has transferred its existing offshore wind investment portfolio into the fund, the bank said………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Will Norway divest from giant Indian firm because of the Amazon?

Posted on 26 March 2015 by VRS  |  Email |Print

In 2010 the Council on Ethics for Norway’s “Government Pension Fund Global” (GPFG) recommended that the GPFG divest its holdings from giant Indian conglomerate Reliance Industries, which last year The Economist magazine described as “India’s biggest private firm (measured by profits).”
The justification was the threat that Reliance, as a minority partner in oil exploration in one of the remotest parts of Peru’s Amazon, was considered to pose to indigenous people who live so remotely they are sometimes described, misleadingly, as “uncontacted.”……………………………………….Full Article: Source

For SWFs, is “Doing Good” Bad for Stakeholders?

Posted on 24 March 2015 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Sovereign wealth funds are increasingly screening their portfolios based on so-called social criteria. Does that hurt returns? Does it change corporate behavior? And does that matter? As sovereign wealth fund assets surge, more investments are being screened for so-called environmental, social and governance (ESG) criteria. Norges Bank Investment Management (NBIM), which oversees Norway’s $861 billion.
Government Pension Fund Global announced just last month that in 2014 it had divested stakes in 49 companies, which it did not name, based upon ESG considerations, bringing the number of companies it has dumped in the past three years to 114………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Norway SWF owns shares in sanctioned Russian banks

Posted on 19 March 2015 by VRS  |  Email |Print

The Government’s Pension Fund Global, currently worth over 7.000 billion Norwegian kroner (€796 billion), have invested 32.095 million kroner in Russia, mainly in oil- and gas and the banking sector. That is also the two sectors, in addition to the military industrial complex, that are highlighted in the EU and US sanctions regime against Moscow.
The Norwegian regulations on restrictive measures imposed from August 15th, 2014, lists five Russian banks, including the two in which the Norwegian fund owns shares; VTB Bank and Sberbank. In Sberbank, the fund also holds bond investments worth nearly 90 million kroner. That investment was made last year………………………………………..Full Article: Source

More than 10,000 people call on Dutch pension fund to divest from fossil fuels

Posted on 19 March 2015 by VRS  |  Email |Print

More than 10,000 people have called on the fifth largest pension fund in the world to divest from oil, coal and gas. Members of the Dutch pension fund ABP handed over a petition to the fund’s managers on Tuesday asking them to remove fossil fuel company holdings from its $360bn (£250bn) portfolio.
The campaign is part of a fast-growing movement, launched by the campaign group 350.org, that is putting pressure on institutions around the world to remove their investments from fossil fuels. Around 60% of those who signed the petition to ABP currently hold their pension with the fund………………………………………..Full Article: Source

UN backing fossil fuel divestment campaign

Posted on 18 March 2015 by VRS  |  Email |Print

In early March, the City of Oslo, capital of Norway, announced that they would be divesting $7 million (£4.7m) worth of coal assets from its pension fund. Norway announced last December that it would begin excluding the most harmful of climate offenders from its $870 billion (£589bn) sovereign wealth fund on a “case-by-case basis”.
Subsequently, the bank in charge of the country’s sovereign wealth fund announced in February that 49 companies had been divested from the fund’s investments. An ever-increasing number of universities around the world have also made the decision to divest their fossil fuel investments, including a number throughout the US, Sweden, and the University of Sydney, the first Australian university to do so………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Norway fund turns green, exits coal stocks

Posted on 17 March 2015 by VRS  |  Email |Print

The $850-billion Norwegian Government Pension Fund, the world’s largest sovereign wealth fund, has sold off almost all of its holdings of Indian coal and power stocks such as Coal India, Adani Power, GVK Infra and NTPC, Lanco Infratech, CESC and Monnet Ispat, among others, during 2014, citing risks posed to climate, according to the list of sovereign fund’s holdings available with dna said.
The massive fund, which is minority shareholder in more than 9,000 companies across the globe, however has curiously made investment in Reliance Power during the year. The sell-off has not been restricted to India alone as investments in global energy majors, 16 from the US including Alpha Natural Resources, Arch Coal, Consol Energy and Peabody, five Australian coal companies like Coal of Africa, Coalspur Mines and Whitehaven Coal, and also Exxaro of South Africa have been sold off……………………………………….Full Article: Source

Norwegian fund dumps Australian coal investments

Posted on 17 March 2015 by VRS  |  Email |Print

The world’s richest sovereign wealth fund has rid itself of investments in Australian coal companies, highlighting the environmental impact of the production of the commodity. Norges Bank, manager of the $US850 billion Norwegian Government Pension Fund, has outlined the divestment of its interests in 14 coal miners around the world in 2014.
Five Australian companies among them included Whitehaven Coal, owner of the Maules Creek project, which has been under constant scrutiny from green groups. The bank said when choosing to withdraw its investment in coal miners it paid particular attention to how heavily companies were exposed to the energy markets………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Adani, Whitehaven, Peabody sold by Norway

Posted on 17 March 2015 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Whitehaven Coal, America’s Peabody Energy and China’s Yanzhou Coal Mining are among a slew of coal mining and power companies dumped by Norway’s giant sovereign wealth fund during 2014. The divestments also include India’s Adani Power, which wants to build a giant coal mine in Queensland’s Galilee Basin, and large numbers of coal companies in developing India and Indonesia.
Norges Bank, manager of the $US850 billion Norwegian Government Pension Fund, said last month it made the divestments after intensfying its scrutiny of the pollution performance of sustainability of the coal industry and the wider mining sector………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Norwegian pension fund asks companies to reveal climate change strategies

Posted on 17 March 2015 by VRS  |  Email |Print

The Norges Bank, manager of Norway’s Government Pension Fund, has called for companies it investment in to test their business strategies against global climate change efforts. According to WWF-Norway, if other funds follow suit it could be the start of the “tipping point” the world needs to stop financing polluting energy sources.
The Norwegian sovereign wealth fund is the largest in the world at $893 billion (£604bn). It accounts for 1% of all shares globally, investing in over 7,000 companies. Traditionally it has been linked to fossil fuels, resulting in it being known as the ‘oil fund’………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Norway SWF may pull investment from Bangladesh’s coal plant

Posted on 11 March 2015 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Norway’s pension fund may withdraw investment from a coal plant to be built with Indian partner on the edge of Sundarbans mangrove forest, citing threat of severe environmental damage. The massive 1,320 megawatt Rampal thermal plant would sit on the edge of Sundarbans, the world’s largest mangrove forest, in Bangladesh.
For more than two years, citizens, artists, and social and environmental activists protested plans to build this plant close to a forest that is a United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation’s world heritage site as well as a Ramsar wetland site. In September 2013, about 20,000 people marched for five days from Dhaka to Dighraj. ‘The long march’ covered a distance of nearly 250 miles, to demand the scrapping of the power plant………………………………………..Full Article: Source

AfDB approves $174.85m to boost agriculture

Posted on 09 March 2015 by VRS  |  Email |Print

The African Develop­ment Bank (AfDB) has approved the sum of $174.85 million towards financing of the Agricultural Transforma­tion Support Programme (ATASP-1). AFDB said it would support the costs of infrastructure and value chain development and pro­gramme management for four Staple Crop Process­ing Zones (SCPZ) in Ada­ni-Omor, Bidda-Badeggi, Kano-Jigawa and Kebbi- Sokoto.
According to him, govern­ment had launched a $100 million private equity fund – Fund for Agricultural Finance in Nigeria (FAFIN) – together with the German Develop­ment Bank (KfW) and the Ni­gerian Sovereign Wealth Fund to expand access to long term finance for agric business………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Feeling Hungry, SWFs Ramp Up Food and Agriculture Purchases

Posted on 06 March 2015 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Sovereign wealth funds’ appetite for agriculture and fertilizer companies is growing as concerns about stable food supplies rise. Last year, Ding Xuedong, chief executive officer of China Investment Corp.(CIC), the country’s $650 million sovereign wealth fund, put the the issue of food security squarely on the agenda for state-owned investors. In a June 2014 op-ed piece for the Financial Times, he wrote that the fund was planning to partner with governments, multilateral organizations, and institutional investors to increase world’s food supply and generate profits.
CIC is not alone. Other sovereign wealth funds are acting to protect their countries from food shortages, particularly in the Middle East. They are plowing money into land, farms and forestry as well as agricultural businesses. In the last 10 years, 14 state-owned funds executed 51 deals worthat least $11.1 billion in the industry according to Sovereign Wealth Center (SWC) data. These include the Abu Dhabi Investment Council (ADIC), Singapore’s GIC and Temasek Holdings………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Malaysia sovereign fund plans $279 mln “social impact” sukuk

Posted on 27 February 2015 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Malaysia’s $40 billion sovereign wealth fund Khazanah Nasional plans to issue a sukuk worth up to one billion ringgit ($279.17 million) to help fund schools, its managing director said on Thursday.
Speaking to Reuters on the sidelines of an Islamic finance event in London, the fund’s head Azman Mokhtar said the planned “social impact sukuk” is awaiting regulatory approval from Malaysian financial regulators. The move is aimed at opening funding for education to a broad pool of investors rather than financing it out of its own reserves, he added………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Qatar’s Hassad Food eyes Brazilian sugar, poultry assets

Posted on 26 February 2015 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Hassad Food, the agricultural arm of Qatar’s sovereign wealth fund, said it was looking at possible purchases of Brazilian sugar and poultry assets as structural problems in those industries in the South American country created opportunities.
“We have a lot of stuff in our pipeline and Brazil is definitely part of that, not only sugar but also poultry,” Youssef Hegazy, vice president for business development at Hassad Food, said on Wednesday. Hassad Food, wholly owned by the Qatar Investment Authority, was set up in 2008 to boost the Gulf country’s food security………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Greens want NZ Super Fund to drop fossil fuels

Posted on 16 February 2015 by VRS  |  Email |Print

The Greens are calling on the New Zealand Super Fund to divest from fossil fuels, as it accuses its guardians of betting on a climate disaster. The fund currently has $676 million in fossil fuel companies - about 2 per cent of the fund’s assets under management. “The guardians are meant to be investing for the long term, but by investing over $676 million into fossil fuel companies, they’re hedging that the world will take no action on the climate - a world for our kids where it’s not worth living to retirement age,” Green Party co-leader Russel Norman said.
“It is now a well-established fact that if all the world’s known reserves of coal, oil, and gas are burned, our climate is toast. At least three-quarters of these reserves will have to stay in the ground, wiping much of the current value of the fossil fuel sector………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Norway Takes the High Ground on Climate Change

Posted on 13 February 2015 by VRS  |  Email |Print

There was some dramatic news out of Norway this week, showing what is possible on the climate front if the political will is there. The Norwegian government announced that they would cut their carbon emissions by no less than 40% from 1990 levels by the year 2030. This puts them in line with the ambitious target set by the European Union (EU).
Norway’s sovereign wealth fund happens to be the largest in the world. So the fact that they have chosen to dump the stocks of those 32 coal-related companies and those of any other companies that contribute disproportionally to climate change is quite a statement………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Investing and Divesting for the Climate

Posted on 13 February 2015 by VRS  |  Email |Print

A recent study from WWF Sweden and PwC has revealed exactly that. Through the social security system, sovereign wealth funds and church funds, among other, all of us are investors. This crucial piece of information has been picked up by many, not least by professional investors and future pensionists.
Just this week the world’s wealthiest sovereign wealth fund Norges announced its divestment from 114 companies with the aim to strengthen its work on responsible investment. Norges argued there to be “high levels of uncertainty about the sustainability” of the companies’ business models it divested from………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Oil Fund allocates AZN 300m for needs of refugees

Posted on 13 February 2015 by VRS  |  Email |Print

In 2014, the State Oil Fund of Azerbaijan (SOFAZ) allocated AZN 300 m to improve social and living conditions of refugees and internally displaced, Oxu.Az reports with reference to SOFAZ.
According to the approved budget for 2015, the expences of the Oil Fund to finance activities in connection with the improvement of social and living conditions of refugees and internally displaced persons are provided in the amount of AZN 150 m………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Fossil Fuel Divestment: Smart Bet or Losing Strategy?

Posted on 11 February 2015 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Just last week, Norway announced that its sovereign wealth fund — an $850 billion pension reserve that was built on the Scandinavian nation’s oil and gas resources — had jettisoned more than 49 companies, many involved in coal and unconventional oil extraction, from its portfolio in 2014.
The reason: “Uncertainty about the sustainability of their business model.” To be sure, Norway is still investing heavily in fossil fuels. But the move nonetheless adds to the more than $50 billion that proponents of divestment say has been pulled out of the fossil fuel sector by both institutional and individual investors since the movement was launched by climate activists in 2012………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Norway’s Pension Fund Discloses Divestment Practices

Posted on 10 February 2015 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Norway’s Government Pension Fund Global revealed those companies it divested from in 2014, judging “there to be high levels of uncertainty about the sustainability” of these companies’ business models. Yngve Slyngstad, CEO of Norges Bank Investment Management, the Norwegian bank which manages the country’s Government Pension Fund Global, commented on its decisions in a press release announcing a report investigating responsible investment in 2014:
“Our aim with this report is to provide a full overview of the many different areas we are working on and so increase transparency on the management of the fund. We recognise that there is still much to be done, and that we will encounter a number of challenges in the years ahead. Our role is to think long-term and protect value for future generations.”……………………………………….Full Article: Source

Farvel coal, says Norway SWF

Posted on 09 February 2015 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Thirty two coal mining companies were eliminated by the world’s richest sovereign wealth fund from its portfolio in 2014. The Government Pension Fund Global (GPFG) in its first report, revealed that 114 companies were taken off its portfolio. The fund which is worth $850 billion (£556 billion) and founded on the nation’s oil and gas wealth indicated that the reasons for the elimination were purely due to the adverse climatic and environmental conditions created due to the operations of these companies.
A study revealed that only a small quantity of the fossil fuel can be burned when temperatures are kept below two degrees Celsius. Governor and President of the Bank of England and the World Bank, Mark Carney Jim Yong Kim together with others raised concerns to investors that a lot of the assets of fossil fuel can lose their value due to climatic changes………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Norwegian oil fund writes to companies over low-carbon transition

Posted on 09 February 2015 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Norway’s sovereign wealth fund has written to energy companies, asking them to outline their plans to deal with the transition to a low-carbon economy. In a letter to the Ministry of Finance accompanying its inaugural responsible investment (RI) report, Norges Bank Investment Management (NBIM) noted a recent decision not to use the Government Pension Fund Global as a tool for enacting climate policy by mandating a blanket divestment of fossil fuel holdings.
NBIM contrasted the blanket exclusion of one or more sectors with its ability to monitor companies actively and potentially not invest in them, noting that sector-wide bans would directly conflict with the “basic premise” of its approach to management………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Norway’s sovereign wealth fund steps up pressure for ethical behaviour

Posted on 06 February 2015 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Norway’s $860 billion sovereign wealth fund, the world’s biggest, will put extra pressure on companies to behave more responsibly on social and environmental matters, its chief executive said on Thursday, targeting coal users in particular.
The fund has been accused of having too large exposure to coal by both environmental groups and some Norwegian politicians calling for the fund to revamp its portfolio. Yngve Slyngstad told Reuters on Thursday after a presentation of the fund’s first annual report on responsible investments that it is systematically divesting companies delivering coal to power generation companies, but that it is still exposed to those using coal for steel production………………………………………..Full Article: Source

World’s biggest sovereign wealth fund dumps dozens of coal companies

Posted on 06 February 2015 by VRS  |  Email |Print

The world’s richest sovereign wealth fund removed 40 coal mining companies from its portfolio in 2014, citing the risk they face from regulatory action on climate change. Norway’s Government Pension Fund Global (GPFG), worth $850bn (£556bn) and founded on the nation’s oil and gas wealth, 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 also 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………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Norway asked to divest from company linked to Malaysian official

Posted on 05 February 2015 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Activists have petitioned the world’s largest sovereign wealth fund to drop its investment in a company they say is linked to large-scale corruption in the Malaysian state of Sarawak.
In a letter published this week, the Switzerland-based Bruno Manser Fund (BMF) and Norway-based FIVAS recommended that Norway’s Government Pension Fund Global sell its $11 million stake in Cahya Mata Sarawak (CMS), a Sarawak-based infrastructure majority-owned by relatives of former Sarawak chief minister and current governor Taib Mahmud. The holdings represent 2 per cent of CMS………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Norwegian oil fund offloads firms over environmental, human rights records

Posted on 28 January 2015 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Norway’s NOK6.7trn (€764bn) sovereign wealth fund has divested from three firms after concerns were raised over their environmental, ethical and human rights records. The fund’s Council of Ethics revealed in its 2014 annual report that Tahoe Resources, Innophos Holdings and Noble Group had been recommended for exclusion from the Government Pension Fund Global’s investment universe.
Tahoe, a mining company headquartered in the US, was criticised for activities in Guatemala that allegedly run an “unacceptable” risk of human rights violations………………………………………..Full Article: Source

STB to partner Temasek Holdings for Mandai nature project

Posted on 16 January 2015 by VRS  |  Email |Print

The Singapore Tourism Board (STB) will partner with Temasek Holdings to create a large-scale nature project in the Mandai precinct, the Ministry of Trade and Industry (MTI) announced in a press release on Wednesday (Jan 14).
Temasek is the majority shareholder of Wildlife Reserves Singapore (WRS), which operates the existing stable of Mandai attractions - the Singapore Zoo, the Night Safari and the River Safari - and Jurong Bird Park. It submitted a “compelling proposal to build on their existing attractions to shape Mandai into a leading nature destination in Asia”, said MTI………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Norwegian oil fund to disclose voting intentions to illustrate ‘principle’

Posted on 07 January 2015 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Norway’s sovereign wealth fund will publish its voting intentions where it feels the intervention can help illustrate an important principle, rather than focusing on the companies in which it has the largest stakes, according to the head of Norges Bank Investment Management (NBIM).
Yngve Slyngstad, chief executive at NBIM, said the decision to publicise voting intentions was reached independently from a move to double the number of firms in which the NOK6trn (€658bn) Government Pension Fund Global holds a stake larger than 5%………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Norway finalises oil fund’s RI framework and appoints new ethical council

Posted on 22 December 2014 by VRS  |  Email |Print

The Norwegian finance ministry has finalised new guidelines for responsible investment at the Government Pension Fund Global (GPFG), which include setting up a new advisory Council of Ethics.
In April this year, the Ministry of Finance said in its proposals on the matter that it was disbanding the existing Council of Ethics, which had been in place for 10 years, and that current ethical exclusion criteria would be integrated into the management mandate given to Norges Bank………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Norway’s Pension Fund Is Advised to Keep Fossil Fuel Shares

Posted on 11 December 2014 by VRS  |  Email |Print

If the decision had been different, it might have made a dramatic headline: “Norway to sell out of oil companies.” Instead, a panel of experts advising Norway’s Finance Ministry recommended last week that the giant sovereign wealth fund that invests the country’s petroleum wealth remain an active investor in oil and coal companies.
The six-person group was set up by the government this year in response to pressure from opposition parties for the fund to divest its holdings in companies that extract coal. Of all the fossil fuels, coal produces the highest emissions of greenhouse gases, which contribute to climate change. Environmental groups have been urging curbs on coal and tar sands as initial steps to a broad exit from all fossil fuels………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Norwegian fund opts not to exclude coal and oil

Posted on 08 December 2014 by VRS  |  Email |Print

The Norwegian sovereign wealth fund will not be forced to sell coal and oil stocks but will try to influence better ethical behaviour on a case-by-base basis by shareholder engagement. Opposition parties in Norway had called for the fund, which, ironically, exists to invest Norway’s income from selling oil, to divest from fossil fuel companies.
Other institutional investors including the Rockefeller Brothers Fund, Stanford University and Glasgow University have committed to selling fossil fuel stocks in response to environmental concerns………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Norway’s oil fund will continue to invest in fossil fuels

Posted on 05 December 2014 by VRS  |  Email |Print

A government panel has rejected calls for Norway’s $870 billion (£555bn) wealth fund to divest from polluting fossil fuels, instead advocating an engagement approach.
The Government Pensions Fund of Norway is the world’s largest sovereign wealth fund. The fund owns around 1.25% of the world’s stocks, with 10-15% of its portfolio being invested in oil and gas, earning it the name ‘oil fund’. Of the 200 companies holding the majority of fossil fuel reserves, the oil fund invests in 147………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Norway To Assess Fossil Fuel Assets Case-By-Case

Posted on 05 December 2014 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Norway’s $870 billion sovereign wealth fund announced the findings of a government commission Wednesday of its current coal, oil, and gas investments, stating that the most harmful of these climate offenders would be excluded from the Fund on a “case-by-case basis.”
“We believe active ownership and engagement are appropriate primary tools for the [fund] to use to address climate-related issues,” the Ministry of Finance wrote in a press release Wednesday. Furthermore, the Ministry of Finance propose that the fund will continue to support relevant climate change research………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Experts urge Norway oil fund to consider climate

Posted on 05 December 2014 by VRS  |  Email |Print

An expert panel recommended on Wednesday that Norway’s sovereign wealth fund, the world’s largest, give more consideration to climate change in its investments but stopped short of calling for it to spurn fossil fuels as demanded by environmentalists.
The panel was appointed by the government to examine calls by environmental groups and some politicians for the fund to divest from coal, oil and natural gas companies. The group of six independent experts recommended that climate change be added to the list of ethical criteria governing the six trillion kroner (€700 billion, $865 billion) fund’s investments but said it should not be the basis for a blanket exclusion………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Norway: oil fund climate change action should be case by case

Posted on 04 December 2014 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Norway’s $870 billion wealth fund is not an effective tool to fight climate change, a government commission said on Wednesday, rebuffing opposition calls that it should be forced to sell out of all coal investments.
The fund, which holds stakes in around 8,000 companies on all continents, should instead strengthen its active ownership, putting more weight on climate change and sell out of the worst offenders, the commission said in a statement. The fund, the world’s biggest sovereign wealth fund, owns more than 1 percent of all global shares and many other long-term investors take their cue from its decisions………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Norway Oil Fund Urged to Exclude Firms on Climate Grounds

Posted on 04 December 2014 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Norway’s sovereign wealth fund, the world’s biggest, should be allowed to exclude companies whose acts or omissions are “severely harmful to the climate,” an expert group said on Wednesday, amid mounting pressure for the fund to exit fossil assets, especially coal companies, to counter global warming.
However, the group said the $870 billion Norwegian fund shouldn’t immediately sell all its oil, gas and coal holdings, previously estimated at about 10% of its value, but rather exercise its ownership. “We believe active ownership and engagement are appropriate primary tools for the Government Pension Fund Global to use to address climate-related issues,” the group said in a statement………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Norwegian oil fund should divest firms ‘harmful’ to global climate – report

Posted on 04 December 2014 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Norway’s sovereign wealth fund should be allowed to exclude any business that is “severely harmful” to the global climate, according to a new report, but should not categorically exclude fossil fuel companies.
The report, commissioned by the Ministry of Finance in April following pressure from the Norwegian Parliament, said the NOK6trn (€699bn) Government Pension Fund Global should not be viewed as an instrument of climate policy and rejected the concept of stranded assets as one that should guide investment policy………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Norway’s sovereign wealth fund sticking with oil

Posted on 04 December 2014 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Norway’s oil fund is set to stay invested in oil. An expert committee set up by the Norwegian government recommended on Wednesday that the $870bn oil fund should not automatically sell out of all fossil fuel companies, reports Richard Milne.
Instead the fund should be an active and ethical owner and use its influence as the world’s largest sovereign wealth fund to change the behaviour on climate change of oil, gas and coal companies, the report said. Hopes of environmentalists had been raised when Norway’s political parties agreed last year to the panel - headed by former finance ministry bureaucrat Martin Skancke - to examine the oil fund’s fossil fuel holdings………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Oil fund’s coal investments ‘OK’

Posted on 04 December 2014 by VRS  |  Email |Print

An expert commission thinks its perfectly fine for Norway’s huge oil fund to keep investing in coal and other fossil fuels. Environmentalists objected immediately, but the commission argued that the fund can have more influence and control over coal production if it continues to be a major owner in coal companies.
Martin Skancke, leader of the commission, believes coal companies would simply continue to produce coal if the oil fund pulled out of them. Members of the commission, assigned to evaluate how Norway’s giant oil fund should handle its investments in coal and oil, thus recommended on Wednesday that the fund should hang on to them………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Norway Wealth Fund Targets $3 Billion in Green Technology Stakes

Posted on 02 December 2014 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Norway’s sovereign wealth fund, the world’s largest, will invest almost $3 billion into green technology stocks next year, Chief Executive Officer Yngve Slyngstad signaled. tarting Jan. 1, the $870 billion fund will accelerate investments in renewable energy, waste management and energy-storage companies, among others, Slyngstad said last week in an interview after giving a speech in Geneva. The shift will take place over a “shorter time frame,” he said.
The fund is under political pressure to boost investment in environmentally friendly areas and reduce its exposure to the coal industry. Yet the shift has proved challenging as investments in the cleanest technologies have generated low returns or even losses……………………………………….Full Article: Source

A Green Future For Kazakhstan

Posted on 28 November 2014 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Kazakhstan, which inherited many wasteful industries and inefficient processes from the old Soviet Union, has not escaped this sad legacy. But as the country’s economy develops rapidly, we are also determined to do all we can to repair the damage and avoid any future mistakes.
The urgent need to develop a green economy is at the heart of the EXPO exhibition which Kazakhstan is hosting in Astana in 2017. Our country’s sovereign wealth fund “Samruk Kazyna” is investing heavily in the knowledge and technology needed to support innovative and sustainable development…………………………………..Full Article: Source

Norwegian Oil Fund’s dirty investments continue

Posted on 27 November 2014 by VRS  |  Email |Print

The Sovereign Wealth Fund’s stakes in the coal industry are higher than previously acknowledged. These holdings amount to NOK 82.2bn in the coal sector, a study conducted by a handful of environmental organisations reveals. Report “Dirty & Dangerous” was a collaborative effort between three environmental organisations.
These were the German organisation Urgewald, Norway’s The Future in our Hands, and Greenpeace Norway. Head of the Norwegian Pension Fund, Yngve Slyngstad told parliamentarians at a parliamentary hearing earlier this year that, “Our investments in coal are limited and falling. They have been halved over the last two years”…………………………………….Full Article: Source

Oil fund grilled over its coal holdings

Posted on 27 November 2014 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Norway’s huge sovereign wealth fund, known as the oil fund since it’s fueled by the country’s oil revenues, is being grilled once again, this time over its investments in coal. While environmentalists want the fund to dump its coal mining stakes, some economists do, too, warning that they can become unprofitable as well as damaging for the planet.
Oil fund officials have themselves claimed that the fund’s coal holdings are “limited and in decline.” Yngve Slyngstad, chief executive officer of the fund, said in January that they’d been cut in half over the past two years. Next week, a special commission is due to evaluate whether the fund, a powerful player in international investment circles, should sell off or at last drastically reduce its remaining stakes in fossil fuels like coal, oil and gas, for the sake of the environment…………………………………….Full Article: Source

Norwegian fund may shed BHP stake

Posted on 26 November 2014 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Norway’s $US870 billion ($1.02 trillion) sovereign wealth fund may be forced to shed assets such as Coal India, BHP Billiton and China Shenhua Energy next year as pressure mounts for Parliament to act on fossil fuel divestments.
A report presented in Oslo on Tuesday by three environmental organisations urged Norway to shed the fund’s coal holdings. A second report, due next week, could put the fund under still more pressure to cut back on its coal investments. It will examine if climate change is more effectively addressed by preventing the fund from investing in certain coal related companies than by trying to affect change at the companies themselves………………………………..Full Article: Source

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