Council on Ethics

The matter of ethical investing came up initially in the context of earlier investments in companies manufacturing war material and tobacco.  What followed was the establishment in November 2004 of a Council on Ethics by royal decree.  Thereupon the Ministry of Finance issued ethical guidelines for what was at that time called the Government Petroleum Fund.  To support the ethical screening process, the Council on Ethics works with a Swiss company called RepRisk ESG Business Intelligence, a global research firm and provider of environmental, social and governance (ESG) risk data.  

To all appearances RepRisk understands the threat of climate change as evidenced by their tweet from 2013: 

change and risks translate to a “perfect storm” of intertwined global financial and ecological collapse:   

Pretty strong words indeed.  RepRisk has been advising the Council on Ethics since 2009 and won a new tender in 2014 extending their tenure to 2017.  Reports arising from the Council on Ethics are presented to the Norwegian Parliament.  The question then becomes how they are regarded, disregarded, or factored into the debate on climate change.  This is where the politics comes in, and what comes out is in question.  This is where Divest Norway intends to intervene.  Let’s take a quick look at the issue of Divestment & Reinvestment as they relate to the Fund.