Oslo divests from coal

The city of Oslo will sell of its investments in coal companies due to the environmental damage caused by fuel. It is the first capital city to join a fast-growing campaign that has already seen close to 40 cities around the world divest from fossil fuels.

The move means that around USD 7 million of coal investments in the city council’s pension fund will be moved out of the sector, reports The Guardian. “It’s not huge sums involved, but we still want to send a clear signal,” Oslo’s finance commissioner, Eirik Lae Solberg, told Norway’s state broadcaster. “We want to use our investments to promote more environmentally-friendly energy and a more-environmentally friendly society.”

Oslo’s announcement is the latest success for the global divestment campaign that has seen around 180 institutions – local authorities, universities, churches – sell off USD 50 billion worth of investments in coal, oil and gas.

As The Guardian Reports, Norway’s national oil fund, which was built on the proceeds of the country’s large oil and gas reserves, announced in February that it had dumped 32 coal companies on environmental grounds and is considering a wider divestment from fossil fuels. Worth USD 850 billion, it is the world’s largest sovereign wealth fund.

Also in February, 1,000 people demonstrated in Oslo demanding divestment. The campaign group Future in our Hands called the city’s decision “a victory for our hard work.”


Photo credit: Bent Tranberg, flickr/Creative Commons

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