COPENHAGEN, Denmark (AP) — Norway’s wealth fund, which wants to become one of the most ethical investors in the world, is dropping its investment in several major mining and fossil fuel companies after they failed to meet its environmental standards. The list also included Germany utility giant and Europe’s largest CO2 emitter RWE.
Norway’s central bank, which is behind the wealth fund, said Wednesday that companies Sasol Ltd, the mining company Glencore PLC, AGL Energy Ltd and Anglo American PLC were out. Its decision was based on new guidelines for coal companies that it adopted last year.
Canadian Natural Resources Limited, Cenovus Energy Inc, Suncor Energy Inc, and Imperial Oil Limited, will be excluded for causing “unacceptable” amounts of greenhouse gases during production of oil from oil sands.
Vale SA, a Brazilian mining company, had been excluded for contributing to severe environmental damage as a result of repeated dam breaches.
In addition, four companies – Australia-based BHP Group Ltd/BHP Group Plc, Texas-based energy company Vistra Energy Corp, Italian energy company Enel SpA and Germany-based Uniper SE – were put on an observation list.
The shares would have been sold earlier had it not been for the volatility in financial markets caused by the coronavirus pandemic, the central bank said.
The Norwegian oil fund that is one of the world’s largest of its kind, with a stake in more than 9,000 companies, including the likes of Apple, Nestle, Microsoft and Samsung. On average, the fund holds 1.4% of all of the world’s listed companies. About 70% of its holdings are in shares