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Norway’s pension fund drops RWE, Glencore 
and ten other fossil fuel companies

Press Release
Oslo, May 13th 2020

Today Norway’s central bank announced the exclusion of several fossil fuel companies from its Government Pension Fund, one of the world’s biggest pension funds. Five coal companies were dropped from the fund for breaching the bank’s product-based coal criteria. [1] Seven oil companies were excluded from the fund for causing “unacceptable greenhouse gas emissions”, following a recommendation of the bank’s Council on Ethics. [2] The exclusion was preceded by the Norwegian Parliament’s decision to tighten the fund’s coal exclusion criteria in June 2019, adopting two out of three criteria that Urgewald proposed aligned with its coal database “Global Coal Exit List”. [3]

Europe’s biggest CO2 emitter RWE excluded from pension fund
Among the companies excluded from Norway’s oil fund, which is aiming to become one of the most ethical investors in the world, are the Germany utility giant and Europe’s largest CO2 emitter RWE, the British mining company Glencore and the Brazilian mining company Vale. RWE and Glencore have been dropped for surpassing the fund’s coal revenue and production thresholds [4]. The Brazilian mining company Vale has been excluded for contributing to severe environmental damage as a result of repeated dam breaches.

Four companies placed on fund’s observation list for future exclusion
The German fossil fuel utility Uniper, 70% of which is owned by the Finnish state utility Fortum, is among the companies that have now been placed on the observation list for a possible future exclusion. Uniper has been largely criticized by international NGOs for pushing to get Western Europe’s last new coal plant, Datteln IV, online and for threatening to sue the Dutch government over its coal phase-out law. [5]  

The world’s largest mining company, the Anglo-Australian BHP, has also been placed on the Norwegian Government Fund’s watch list after an assessment against the product-based coal criterion. According to Urgewald’s Global Coal Exit List, BHP produced 27.5 million tons of thermal coal in 2019, which puts it far above the fund’s exclusion threshold of 20 million tons of annual coal production. [6]

Heffa Schuecking, Director of Urgewald, says:
„We are happy to see that the Norwegian Government Pension Fund has moved forward with the exclusions first announced in 2019. However, we are disappointed that some of the companies put on the observation list should have been clear exclusion candidates. BHP, which in 2019 produced 27.5 million tons of thermal coal clearly lies far above the fund’s absolute criteria of 20 million tons annual coal production. While the observation list sends a warning signal to the industry, it does not prevent the NGPF from making new and additional investments in the companies on the list.“

[1] https://www.nbim.no/en/the-fund/news-list/2020/exclusion-and-observation-of-coal-companies/
[2] https://www.nbim.no/en/the-fund/news-list/2020/exclusion-decisions-and-decisions-to-revoke-exclusion/
[3] https://urgewald.org/medien/norway-divest-eu5-billion-coal-giants-glencore-and-rwe
[4] https://www.regjeringen.no/contentassets/9d68c55c272c41e99f0bf45d24397d8c/guidelines-for-observation-and-exclusion-from-the-gpfg---01.09.2019.pdf
[5] https://urgewald.org/sites/default/files/Briefing_Fortum_0.pdf
[6] https://coalexit.org/index.php/database?name=BHP+bmc