Norway Divests from Coal

NORWAY has announced a total divestment from coal - the first nation to do so; providing a shot in the arm for those calling for a future without fossil fuels.

In June 2014 the UN called for Norway to close down coal mining in the Arctic island group Svalbard. The Norwegian government have gone way above and beyond that demand, and have pulled the plug on all coal mining.

What does this move involve - affected will be 14 coal mining companies, one coal-fired power station, five tar sands oil businesses, two cement companies,16 coal mining operations, plus two mountain top removal coal companies.

Norway’s sovereign wealth fund, the world’s richest ($860 billion), is taking its money out of many fossil fuel companies. The Norwegian government owns two thirds of the fund. Although critics highlight that Norway has great interest, and funds in and out of, North Sea Oil.

What is of interest is that Norway, does not use much coal, with most electricity generated from hydro, the rest from thermal and wind sources. But the action of the fund to divest from coal is a major action, with a sovereign state divesting for climate change reasons.

Norway has also pledged already ahead of December’s Paris UN climate meeting that the country will reduce their greenhouse gas emissions by 40% of 1990 levels by 2030. The Scandinavian country is setting a lead that others will hopefully acknowledge, if not follow.

Picture of former aerial transport for coal in Svalbard,by Marius Fiskum, reproduced under CCL.

Monday 9th February 2015

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