Norway’s mammoth $890 billion government-pension fund, the largest sovereign-wealth fund in the world, is known for its world-leading oversight. Every investment decision is reviewed not only for its potential profits, but also for a large list of Norwegian core values.
The fund announced this week an addition to that list: No coal. As such, the fund will sell off many of its investments related to coal, making it the biggest institution to join the growing movement to abandon fossil-fuel investments.
Parliament voted the change through on Friday, ordering the fund to shift its holdings out of companies whose businesses rely on coal. Any business that does more than 30 percent of its business in coal must be divested, a move which will see billions of dollars pulled from the dirty companies.
The decision is ironic because much of Norway's wealth comes from the production of oil and gas.
Norway joins The Church of England, which announced last month that it would drop companies involved with coal or oil sands projects and French insurer AXA, who cut all coal-related investments from its portfolio.
Members of the super-wealthy Rockefeller family, whose money came from Standard Oil, also have pledged to eliminate coal from their philanthropic Rockefeller Brothers Fund.
While the moves are largely symbolic, given the massive market caps of big fossil fuels companies and hungry investors, they show a growing global trend towards reducing reliance on fossil fuel and eliminating pollution.
Even China, the world's worst polluter, has pledged to drastically cut back coal power plants, as the smog literally chokes its economy.