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Norway’s oil fund backs Shell climate resolution



The Government Pension Fund of Norway has begun revealing voting intentions in a bid to drive transparency. The fund has announced it will support a shareholder resolution asking Shell to report on climate change risks.

The fund, commonly known as Norway’s oil fund, has been criticised in the past for its investment in fossil fuels but it has been taking steps to increase its focus on sustainability. Recently the pension fund called for the companies it invests in to test their business strategies against global climate change efforts.

The sovereign wealth fund’s decision is part of its drive to increase transparency. It will now reveal how it will vote ahead of companies’ annual general meetings for some firms and “fundamental issues”. The fund’s first announcement regarding voting intentions reveals that it will support a shareholder resolution asking oil giant Shell to report annually on climate change risks.

Petter Johnsen, the fund’s chief investment officer equity strategies, said, “As a long-term investor, we believe that the identification of future scenarios for climate regulation, carbon pricing, and environmental conditions is a useful tool to support strategic decision-making and we thereby support these resolutions.”

The BP shareholder resolution challenges the company to stress-test their business model against the requirement to limit global warming. It also urges the fossil fuel company to reform its bonus system so that it no longer rewards climate-harming activities, commit to reducing emissions and investing in renewables, and disclose how their policy aligns with climate mitigation.

A number of major investors have also announced their intention to support the resolution, including the Pension Trust, Kames Capital, Aviva Investors, Jupiter Fund Management and Schroders.

Photo: Ryan McFarland via Flickr

Further reading:

Norway’s pension fund divests from risky assets

$800bn Norwegian oil fund under pressure to divest from coal

Norway’s oil fund will continue to invest in fossil fuels

Norwegian pension fund asks companies to reveal climate change strategies

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