August 24, 2020 Read More →

Norway’s Storebrand divests ExxonMobil, Chevron stock due to climate inaction

The Guardian:

A Nordic hedge fund worth more than $90bn (£68.6bn) has dumped its stocks in some of the world’s biggest oil companies and miners responsible for lobbying against climate action.

Storebrand, a Norwegian asset manager, divested from miner Rio Tinto as well as US oil giants ExxonMobil and Chevron as part of a new climate policy targeting companies that use their political clout to block green policies.

The investor is one of many major financial institutions divesting from polluting industries, but is understood to be the first to dump shares in companies which use their influence to slow the pace of climate action

Jan Erik Saugestad, the chief executive of Storebrand, said corporate lobbying activity designed to undermine solutions to “the greatest risks facing humanity” is “simply unacceptable”.

Storebrand will also divest from German chemicals company BASF and US electricity supplier Southern Company for lobbying against climate regulation, and a string of companies that derive more than 5% of their revenues from coal or oil sands.

“We need to accelerate away from oil and gas without deflecting attention on to carbon offsetting and carbon capture and storage. Renewable energy sources like solar and wind power are readily available alternatives,” he said. “The Exxons and Chevrons of the world are holding us back,” he added. “This initial move does not mean that BP, Shell, Equinor and other oil and gas majors can rest easy and continue with business as usual, even though they are performing relatively better than US oil majors.”

Saugestad said he expects Storebrand’s investor peers will follow its lead in divesting from companies that support anti-climate lobbying “as part of a logical progression in global fossil fuel divestment”.

[Jillian Ambrose]

More: Major investment firm dumps Exxon, Chevron and Rio Tinto stock

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