Norway: Oil fund to exclude co's due to environmental & human rights risks

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12 March 2018

Norway’s $1t fund raises ethical concerns about investments linked to AI

Author: Sveinung Sleire, Deal Street Asia

9 March 2018

The rise of artificial intelligence is raising questions at the ethics watchdog for the world’s biggest wealth fund. In particular, the threat posed by weapons systems guided by AI brings ethical “challenges,” according to Johan H. Andresen, the chairman of the Norwegian Council on Ethics...

"It’s hard to program empathy — we can’t demand that — but everything we’re looking at is under human control and humans are making the decisions, so both people and companies can be held responsible." ...

The group is now considering taking action on the issue of labor conditions for migrant workers ahead of the soccer world cup in Qatar in 2022, with recruitment practices also in breach of the human rights guidelines...

Going forward, the council will ramp up its investigations on the effects of deforestation and infrastructure development on the environment or violates human and indigenous rights, he said. “The oil fund is now taking a more active ownership approach — they’re committed to doing this and they have the resources,” Andresen said.

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18 January 2018

Norwegian fund to exclude co's over human rights concerns related to shipbreaking practices

Author: Container Management

Norway’s central bank has excluded Evergreen Marine from one of its two sovereign wealth funds, citing the Taiwanese company’s vessel scrapping practices as causing “serious human rights violations and severe environmental damage”...

The investment ban resulted from the carrier’s sale of six decommissioned ships, but Evergreen has claimed the scrapping of three was outside of its control...

On the remaining three ships, the carrier stated: “Evergreen sold them to a buyer that adopts a ship recycling policy in line with the guidelines of the IMO’s “2009 Hong Kong Convention on Safe and Responsible Ship Recycling” to ensure that the vessels have ended their operations in a safe and eco-friendly manner.

“Based on the company’s environmental philosophy, Evergreen specifically demands, in both its bidding invitations and memorandum of agreement for ship recycling that its vessels are sold for demolition at ISO certified “Green-Ship Recycling” shipyards only.”

...Three bulk operators Korea Line Corporation, Precious Shipping PCL and Thoresen Thai Agencies PCL have also been excluded from the GPFG over similar practices while Pan Ocean Company has been placed under observation based on the same criteria.

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16 January 2018

Norway: Oil fund to exclude co's due to environmental & human rights risks

Author: Dominic Chopping, Fox Business

Norges Bank Investment Management, the arm of Norway's central bank that manages the country's $1.1 trillion oil fund, said Tuesday that it has excluded a further nine companies from the fund on ethical grounds...

The Norwegian Ministry of Finance has issued specific guidelines for the oil fund with criteria for observation and exclusion endorsed by Norway's parliament. 

These criteria say the fund must not invest in companies which produce weapons that violate fundamental humanitarian principles through their normal use, produce tobacco, or sell weapons or military material to certain countries...

Further exclusions [were] announced [...] due to the "risk of severe environmental damage and serious or systematic violations of human rights." ...

There are currently over 140 companies excluded from the fund and around 20 under observation. [also refers to BAE Systems PLC, AECOM, Fluor Corp., Huntington Ingalls Industries Inc., Honeywell International Inc., Evergreen Marine Corp (Taiwan) Ltd, Korea Line Corp., Precious Shipping PCL and Thoresen Thai Agencies PCL]

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