Norway’s “No to Coal” Marks Major Victory for Climate Movement, Divests from Major US Utilities
Greenpeace Media Release, June 5th 2015
Coal-heavy utilities including American Electric Power, Dominion Resources, Duke Energy, Xcel Energy, NRG Energy, Southern Company likely to be divested from $900 Billion Norwegian Pension Fund
Oslo – Today the Norwegian parliament unanimously voted for the Norwegian Government Pension Fund (GPFG) to adopt strong divestment criteria for companies involved in coal mining and coal fired utilities, including 49 companies and subsidiaries based in the United States.
“Norway’s decision to take a stand against coal is an example for other governments – and for investors – about shifting from polluting energy sources towards clean, renewable power,” said Greenpeace International Executive Director Kumi Naidoo.
The Norwegian Government Pension Fund Global is the world’s largest sovereign wealth fund and according to calculations made by Urgewald, Greenpeace and Future in Our Hands, the new criteria will most likely force the GPFG to divest from 122 companies totaling USD $8.7 billion (NOK 67.2 billion).
The exclusion criteria specifically states that any company that derives more than 30 percent of its activity from coal will be excluded from GPFG’s portfolio, including both coal mining and coal fired utilities. An analysis of utilities’ current electricity generation mix shows that several major US utilities and power producers are among the companies facing divestment, including AES Corp, Alliant Energy, Ameren, American Electric Power, CMS Energy Corp, Dominion Resources, DTE Energy, Duke Energy, Empire District Electric, First Energy, Great Plains Energy, IDACORP, Integrys Energy Group, MidAmerican Energy, NRG Energy, OGE Energy Group, Otter Tail Corp, Pacificorp, PPL Corp, Southern Company, Vectren Corporation, Westar Energy, Wisconsin Energy Corp, and Xcel Energy.
The GPFG also holds bonds which could be divested, including several subsidiaries of these US utilities. The GPFG had already announced divestments in 2014 from major US coal mining companies including Peabody Energy, Arch Coal, and Alpha Natural Resources. Peabody Energy unsuccessfully lobbiedthe GPFG against divesting from coal.
“This is the biggest divestment from coal in history and it should pave the way for other investors and countries to follow suit. It is a day for celebration, but the GPFG will not be rid of every coal company in its portfolio as well as tens of billions of dollars still invested in the oil and gas industry. Norway is also still engaged in Arctic oil drilling, so while this is great news, there is still lots of work to do for Norway before it can brand itself as truly climate friendly,” said head of Greenpeace in Norway, Truls Gulowsen.
For further comments and analysis please contact:
Joe Smyth, Greenpeace USA Communications, 831-566-5647, [email protected]
David Pomerantz, Greenpeace USA Senior Climate and Energy Campaigner,[email protected]
The briefing from Greenpeace Norway, Urgewald, and Future in Our Hands, including the full list of companies expected to be divested based on the GPFG divestment criteria, is available here:http://www.greenpeace.org/norway/Global/norway/Klima/dokumenter/2015/Divestment.briefing.pdf