Norway’s oil fund disposes of RWE shares over coal investment and places Uniper and Enel on watch

Norway’s oil fund has disposed of its shares in RWE after adding it to the list of companies it excludes from investment on the basis that they produce coal, or coal-based energy. It has placed other two major European utilities, Enel and Uniper, under ‘observation’ for potential disposal.

In a Council of Ethics decision now made public, the fund brought its list of coal-related exclusions or observations to 89 companies.

It excluded Sasol, AGL Energy, Anglo-American and and Glencore, as well as RWE, and it placed Vistra Energy and BHP under ‘observation’ alongside Enel and Uniper. The fund – which according to the Financial Times owns almost 1.5% of every listed company in the world and is closely followed by other investors – said in some cases exclusion decisions had been taken some time ago, but the decision had taken some time to be made public because “the market situation, including liquidity in individual shares, has meant that it has taken a long time to sell the shares in a reasonable manner”.

The Fund also excluded companies because of carbon emissions from production of oil from oil sands – the first time this criterion was applied. It excluded Canadian Natural Resources, Cenovus Energy, Imperial Oil and Suncor  on the basis of ‘unacceptable greenhouse gas emissions’.

It also excluded Brazil’s Centrais Eletricas Brasileiras – South America’s largest electricity utility, which has some 51GW of generating capacity, largely hydroelectric plant.  The exclusion was due to human rights violations in connection with the development of the powerplant Belo Monte in Brazil, said the fund.

See a full list of exclusions here.

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