Norway’s wealth fund must have wider human rights view when excluding firms, says Govt. appointed committee

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Article
15 June 2020

Norway wealth fund must have wider human rights view when blacklisting firms: commission

Author: Gwladys Fouche, Reuters

Norway’s $1 trillion wealth fund could blacklist more companies from its investments, including those that make machine-controlled weapons, if proposals on Monday to modify its mandate are adopted, the head of a government-appointed commission said.

The fund should have a wider definition of corruption and of human rights abuses when considering whether to exclude a company from its investments on those grounds, the group said.

It should also stop investing in firms that manufacture lethal autonomous weapons, a new type of weaponry often nicknamed “killer robots” ...

The proposals will be sent for hearing, with the government planning its own proposals for next spring...

As the fund holds about 1.5% of globally listed shares, its decisions are closely watched and often followed by other investors.

In May the fund excluded some of the world’s biggest commodities firms from its portfolio for their use and production of coal and relinquished its investments in four Canadian oil firms for producing an “unacceptable” amount of greenhouse gas.

The commission also recommended creating a new reason for excluding a company: if it sold weapons to a state involved in an armed conflict where there is an “unacceptable” risk the weapons are used in military operations violating international humanitarian law...

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Article
15 June 2020

Norwegian wealth fund needs updated ethics guidelines

Author: Sophie Baker, Pensions & Investments

Government Pension Fund Global, Oslo, has guidelines for company exclusions that need updating in relation to arms and weapons, a government-appointed committee says.

The committee was appointed in April 2019, to review the 10.2 trillion Norwegian kroner ($1.1 trillion) sovereign wealth fund's ethical investment guidelines. A report outlining the committee's proposals was published Monday by the Norwegian Ministry of Finance.

The committee proposed a number of adjustments to "reflect the evolution of ethical norms over the past 15 years and to catch up with certain new issues that have emerged," said Ola Mested, chair of the fund's ethics committee, in a statement accompanying the report.

Guidelines relating to arms production and corruption, the sale of arms, indigenous peoples' rights and the use of surveillance technology were the main areas for development...

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Article
15 June 2020

Values and Responsibility — The Ethical Framework for the Norwegian Government Pension Fund Global

Author: Ministry of Finance, Government.no

In April 2019, the Norwegian government appointed a Committee chaired by Professor Ola Mestad to review the Guidelines for Observation and Exclusion of Companies from the Norwegian Government Pension Fund Global (GPFG).

The Committee’s report was submitted to the Ministry of Finance on 15 June, 2020.

This document contains an unofficial English translation of the report’s Chapter 1: Summary and Committee’s proposals.

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