View: What the GPFG Exit From Coal Really Means for Global Warming - and SWFs

June 12, 2015 by Loch Adamson

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Norway’s parliament voted to mandate the sale of coal-related investments by the nation’s sovereign wealth fund. Will that affect climate change, or just make Norwegians feel good? Just over a week ago, Norway’s Storting, or parliament, voted to prohibit the nation’s sovereign wealth fund, the Government Pension Fund Global (GPFG), from holding investments in coal miners and other companies that generate 30 percent or more of their revenues from the high-carbon fuel, like some utilities. The ban takes effect in 2016. This isn’t really news. The outcome, after all, was preordained by virtue of an earlier committee vote. And the two overseers of GPFG’s portfolio — Norges Bank Investment Management (NBIM) and the Council on Ethics — have repeatedly tossed myriad companies from the fund for environmental reasons, including coal mining and other allegedly global-warming activities. Indeed, GPFG exited investments in 14 coal-related companies last year. Still, when…

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