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Norway wealth fund sets 2050 net-zero target for portfolio firms

Bloomberg9/20/2022 02:46 PM GMT+08  • 2 min read
Norway wealth fund sets 2050 net-zero target for portfolio firms
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Norway’s US$1.2 trillion sovereign wealth fund will require the companies it invests in to reach net-zero emissions by 2050 at the latest to avert a “delayed transition,” which it says “represents the biggest financial risk for the fund.”

Just 10% of companies in the wealth fund’s portfolio have a net-zero target for 2050, even as many have taken strides toward emission targets, Norges Bank Investment Management Chief Executive Officer Nicolai Tangen and Chief Governance and Compliance Officer Carine Smith Ihenacho wrote in an op-ed in Dagens Naeringsliv.

The fund will push for companies to reach the goal via “credible” interim targets and plans to reduce their direct and indirect greenhouse-gas emissions, the executives wrote in the Norwegian business daily. Work will start with the companies with the largest emissions, they said, and while the fund aims to be an active owner, divestment remains an option.

“Selling out of companies doesn’t solve the climate crisis,” Tangen and Smith Ihenacho wrote. “But we will consider selling out of companies with high climate risk and without climate plans where the exercise of ownership doesn’t lead forward.”

Norway’s finance ministry said in a white paper earlier this year that it wants the sovereign wealth fund, the world’s biggest, to use its responsible investment efforts to make sure companies align their activities in a way that’s consistent with global net-zero emissions.

The fund will on Tuesday present an action plan for the period until 2025.

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