For Immediate Release
Norwegian Government Proposes $40 Billion Divestment from Oil and Gas
NORWAY - The Norwegian government has today announced a bold recommendation for the Norwegian Sovereign Wealth Fund to divest all its holdings, worth nearly $40 billion, from oil and gas industries. This proposal, that would see the world’s largest sovereign wealth fund worth $1 trillion, divest from all fossil fuels will next be put to a parliamentary vote.
“We welcome and support this proposal,” says Yossi Cadan, senior divestment campaigner at 350.org, “if it passes through parliament it will produce a shockwave in the market, dealing the largest blow to date to the illusion that the fossil fuel industry still has decades of business as usual ahead of it. The decision should sound like a red alert for private banks and investors whose oil and gas assets are becoming increasingly risky and morally untenable."
In order to avoid the most catastrophic impacts of climate change and keep global warming below 1.5°C we have to keep fossil fuels in the ground and shift finance towards sustainable energy solutions for all. Climate impacts are already hitting home and we have no time left to lose. Last year Nordic heatwaves, wildfires in the Arctic Circle and alarming news of the thickest Arctic sea ice starting to break up, showed how climate change is close to home for Norway. It seems unthinkable for Norwegian financiers to continue to invest in companies that are causing this chaos.
The Norwegian Sovereign Wealth Fund pledged to divest from coal in 2015, today’s proposal builds on that by targeting all fossil fuels and demonstrating the growing strength and momentum of the global divestment movement. Since the movement started in 2012 over 1000 institutions with managed investments worth over $8 trillion have committed to divest from fossil fuel firms like Exxon and Shell. At the core of it all is a people-powered grassroots movement – it’s ordinary people pushing their local institutions to take a stand against the fossil fuel industry – the industry most responsible for the current climate crisis.
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350 is the red line for human beings, the most important number on the planet. The most recent science tells us that unless we can reduce the amount of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere to 350 parts per million, we will cause huge and irreversible damage to the earth. But solutions exist. All around the world, a movement is building to take on the climate crisis, to get humanity out of the danger zone and below 350. This movement is massive, it is diverse, and it is visionary. We are activists, scholars, and scientists. We are leaders in our businesses, our churches, our governments, and our schools. We are clean energy advocates, forward-thinking politicians, and fearless revolutionaries. And we are united around the world, driven to make our planet livable for all who come after us.