OPINION: Message from the Norway wealth fund to oil sands companies: Clean up your act or suffer – by Eric Reguly (Globe and Mail – February 27, 2021)


Norway’s US$1.3-trillion sovereign wealth fund, the world’s biggest, continues to lose interest in grubby resource companies. Last month, we learned it blacklisted 15 businesses in 2020.

Four were Canadian, each an oil sands player: Canadian Natural Resources, Cenovus Energy, Imperial Oil and Suncor.

“We divest from companies where we no longer want to be a shareholder for ethical or sustainability reasons,” the fund said. “By not investing in these companies, we reduce our exposure to unacceptable risks.”

The fund, which owns on average 1.4 per cent of every listed company in the world and generated a return of US$123-billion last year, was sending yet another message that the era of Big Oil is coming to an end and the future belongs to renewable energy players.

It’s easy to accuse the fund of blatant hypocrisy. Its fabulous wealth was built on Norway’s abundant offshore oil and natural gas riches, and it continues to invest in hydrocarbon companies, though less so every year – last year’s tally was 225, down from 311 in 2019.

For the rest of this article: https://www.theglobeandmail.com/business/commentary/article-message-from-the-norway-wealth-fund-to-oil-sands-companies-clean-up/