The Norwegian Oil Fund's recent announcement that it has sold out of coal contradicts its continued investments of tens of billions of Norwegian Kroner in the industry. Despite Norway's promise to lead in the fight against climate change, the Fund still has over $9.1 billion invested in 71 companies operating in the coal industry, with 46% of those investments in companies that plan to expand their coal operations.
This report reveals that the coal expansion plans of these companies will result in the emission of 127.44 million tons of CO2 annually, more than 2.5 times the size of Norway's domestic emissions. Furthermore, the Fund is Europe's largest institutional investor in the coal industry and the 18th largest in the world. This stark contrast to the calls for an urgent phase-out of coal from the UNFCCC, UNEP, and IEA highlights the need for more responsible investment practices to combat climate change.
Call for urgent action
Frode Pleym, Head of Greenpeace Norway, has called for urgent action in response to the Norwegian Oil Fund's continued investments in the coal industry. Just a month ago, the UNFCCC issued a final warning, emphasizing the need for immediate action to avoid the most severe consequences of the climate crisis and keep global temperatures below a 1.5 degree Celsius increase. According to Pleym, it makes no sense for the Oil Fund to remain one of the largest investors in coal, the biggest climate threat. He urged Norwegian prime minister Jonas Gahr Støre to heed Greenpeace Norway's recommendations and remove all coal companies from the Fund. As this report shows, the Norwegian Fund's investments in the coal industry amount to over $9.1 billion, with expansion plans that will lead to massive CO2 emissions. The Fund's continued exposure to coal stands in stark contrast to the urgent calls for a global phase-out of this harmful industry.
Divest from coal
This report sheds light on the Norwegian Oil Fund's investments in the coal industry, with almost a quarter of these investments in Japanese coal companies. These companies have expansion plans and are responsible for 45% of Japan's total coal power capacity. Furthermore, the Fund is invested in five companies involved in three controversial coal projects, causing harm to local people and the environment. The coal industry not only produces unacceptable levels of emissions, but also causes harm. To uphold its status as a leading financial institution on climate, the Fund urgently needs to divest from coal. Financial institutions worldwide have implemented far stronger coal policies, highlighting the need for the Norwegian Parliament to change the Fund's mandate and strengthen its climate policy. The time to act is now if Norway is to play its part in fighting climate change.