Norway Pension Weighs Complete Coal Divestment, But Lawmakers May Force Fund’s Hand

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Norway’s pension funds – collectively one of the largest asset managers in the world – has been weighing for months whether to divest from coal companies, and to what extent.

But the country’s lawmakers might force the funds’ hand. Norway’s parliament on June 5 will decide whether to pass a mandate for the fund to divest from all coal holdings.

A recent report from the Institute for Energy Economics and Financial Analysis (IEEFA) argues for the merits of the idea.

From RTCC:

[Norway’s] parliament will decide on 5 June whether to give the fund a mandate to shed its coal holdings.

The move would improve the fund’s financial performance as well as addressing environmental concerns, according to the Institute for Energy Economics and Financial Analysis (IEEFA).

“Norway’s leadership is to be applauded for its efforts to rid itself of a losing financial proposition and the threat coal poses to the environment and climate,” author Tom Sanzillo told RTCC.

“They are willing to expand the dialogue and are serving as a model of openness and transparency.”

The [pension] fund sold its stakes in 49 companies last year, mainly in coal and gold mining, on sustainability grounds.

Coal is the worst performing sector in the world’s economy, the IEEFA report argued, and best avoided altogether.

In mining, he noted the Stowe Global Coal Index lost 71% of its value over the past five years.

IEEFA recommended dropping any company that mines more than 50 million tonnes of coal a year or gets 20% of power generation from the polluting fuel.

Norway’s pension fund manages $900 billion in assets.

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