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Norwegian Wealth Fund Blacklists Global Resources, Energy Giants

Norway's sovereign wealth fund, the world's largest, blacklisted 12 new companies Wednesday, including global mining giants such as Glencore and Anglo American, for ethical and climate reasons.

The Bank of Norway said the fund, worth about one trillion dollars, has divested from several major power companies, including Germany's RWE, Australia's AGL Energy and South Africa's Sasol, citing their reliance on coal.

Last year, Norway's parliament tightened up the fund's rules so as to further reduce its holdings in fossil fuels, blamed for global warming.

The central bank, which oversees the fund, also announced it had placed other energy majors such as Australia's BHP Group, Vistra Energy, Enel and Uniper under observation, which could result in their being dropped as well. 

In a separate statement, the central bank blacklisted seven companies for ethical reasons.

Four of them -- Canadian Natural Resources, Cenovus Energy, Suncor Energy and Imperial Oil -- were excluded because of their "unacceptable" greenhouse gas emissions. 

Brazil's Vale -- which had a dam collapse at one of its mines in January 2019, killing 270 people and releasing millions of tons of toxic mining waste -- and Egypt's ElSewedy, were blacklisted because they caused serious damage to the environment, it said.

Brazilian electricity firm Eletrobras was meanwhile cited for alleged violations of human rights of indigenous people during the construction of the Belo Monte power plant.

Meanwhile, two other companies, Aecom of the US and Texwinca Holdings (Hong Kong), were removed from the blacklist, the first no longer being involved in the manufacturing of nuclear weapons and the second having liquidated a subsidiary accused of violating workers' rights.

Invested in more than 9,200 companies, the fund -- set up in 1990 to invest the state's oil and gas earnings -- now controls the equivalent of 1.5 percent of the world's stock market capitalization. 

Its investment decisions are consequently closely watched and often followed by other investors.

Source: Agence France Presse


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