The majority of parliament believes that the country’s Sovereign Wealth Fund should no longer be used to invest in the coal industry. Pro-industry lobbyists disagree.
“We want to divest [our holdings] in 100 per cent coal companies because it’s is the most polluting energy source we have,” Deputy Centre Party (Sp) leader Trygve Slagsvold Vedum told NRK, Wednesday.
Milton Catelin from the World Coal Association visited the Norwegian Parliament this week hoping to change MPs minds.
He argues it will affect the coal industry’s research into climate change.
“Banning investments in coal assets will do nothing in reducing demand for coal, but it will reduce the investments in companies that are interested in reducing their environmental impact.”
“Our concern is about the quality of the investors," publication The Australian quoted him as saying. “It [the SWF selling out] would be a sign that the shares should move to another tier of ownership.”
However Green Party politician Rasmus Hansson is pleased that there is a majority to remove funding for the coal industry.
“Here comes the chief of the international coal lobby in a climate policy context, Darth Vader, to convince the Norwegian Parliament that we should not withdraw from coal,” Mr Hansson commented to NRK.
Norway’s SWF suffered a multi-million loss when it pulled out of the tobacco industry.