Here’s the big one. Norway is getting out of coal.
After a period of indecision the Norwegian Parliament said it would instruct its $900 billion Sovereign Wealth Fund to divest from coal. Or at least companies that earned more than 30 per cent of their income from coal – amounting to a $5.5 billion negative play.
The move was “the single largest divestment from fossil fuels in human history and our biggest sign yet that the age of coal is over and the financial case for investing in fossil fuels is beginning to topple” a media statement from 350.org Australia said on Thursday.
It would send a stark signal to the coal industry that it’s days were numbered and spur similar action, campaigns director for 350 Australia Charlie Wood said.
“Norway’s decision shows that fossil fuel divestment is entering the mainstream and the financial case for moving beyond coal is resounding,” Mr Wood said.
According to 350.org the Norwegian action takes the number of institutions divesting from coal to 220 institutions, including the Rockefeller Brothers Fund, Stanford University and French Insurance megalith Axa.
The divestment action is a bipartisan agreement by the fund’s finance committee that will be put to Norway’s Parliament on Thursday.
According to reports, the fund was already selling down its coal portfolio.
The Guardian on Thursday said the minority right wing government originally proposed softer criteria.
The report said the fund’s coal mining assets had nearly halved to 493 million krone (A$93.6 billion) in the three month to March, but that environmental groups disputed the numbers and said exposure was much bigger because it did not include “such companies as BHP Billiton, one of the world’s biggest coal firms, because coal is a relatively small part of their business.”
But still, according to Greenpeace says the total value of investment getting out of coal will be $5.5 billion.
The Guardian said its Keep it in the ground campaign has attracted 200,000 signatures.