Majority of Norwegian MPs for state pension fund quitting coal.

Jeremy Leggett in Recharge: “In my August column, I wrote: “I expect to see a major diversion of investment from fossil fuels to clean energy before long.” Readers might reasonably expect either periodic encouraging updates, or a grovelling apology for falsely raising expectations. Here is the first of the former.”
“I chair the financial think-tank Carbon Tracker, which first quantified the problem of the “carbon bubble”: the risk that carbon-fuel assets are in danger of being left in the ground because of climate policymaking that has essentially deemed most of them “unburnable” if we want to have a chance of keeping global temperature rises below 2°C.
In 2011, Carbon Tracker was the first to chart carbon exposures company by company and stock exchange by stock exchange. This year, we put numbers on the capital expenditure at risk of being wasted by the fossil-fuel industries.
A few weeks ago, I was invited to Norway and Sweden to talk about all this. The Norwegian state pension fund (often referred to as the oil fund) is the biggest sovereign wealth fund in the world. At $800bn and growing, it is overweight in carbon-fuel investments, especially considering that its revenues come largely from Norwegian oil and gas.
Any recognition by this fund of carbon-fuel asset-stranding risk would send a huge signal to capital markets.
The Norwegian Labour Party, when in government, opposed any change to rules allowing fossil-fuel investments by the fund. In September’s election, Labour was replaced by a minority conservative coalition.
The environmental non-governmental organisation WWF arranged a day of Carbon Tracker briefings for ex-ministers, including former foreign affairs minister Jonas Gahr Støre. Three days later, he announced that Labour would support the pension fund’s complete withdrawal from coal, and look at oil and gas too.
Combined with support from the smaller parties, this would create a majority in parliament in favour of getting the oil fund out of coal.
A day later, the new prime minister spoke at a climate conference for the first time. Erna Solberg did not mention the oil fund in her speech, but asked about the Labour move, she said she would look at coal companies to check that they weren’t investing in renewables ahead of any support for withdrawal by the sovereign wealth fund. She won’t have to spend too long on that exercise, of course.”